At least twice a day, hundreds of Waco Independent School District students rely on more than 80 bus drivers to get them to class.
Transportation administrators say this is the time of year when they see higher number of bus crashes.
Operations Director David Gray says there is a list of protocols drivers go through to make sure the kids they drive each day are in good hands.
“There is about 15 minutes in the morning that is dedicated into the school bus inspection,” Gray said. “Checking the brakes, checking the lights, checking the steering gear and the overall inspection of the bus.”
There are about 50 things to check off their list before and after drives. Bus drivers even go through monthly training sessions. Yet bus crashes still happen.
“The number one thing I hear from drivers as I go to accidents scenes is that if you struck a school bus is, ‘I didn’t see it,'” Gray said.
Less than three months into the school year and WISD has already reported two hit and runs and a bus getting rear ended.
“The level of damage to the bus was well, we need to touch up the paint,” Gray said. “Distractions posed by cell phones are a problem and I would appreciate it if everyone would address that and keep in mind while children are going to and from school. Not just the riders on the school bus, but pedestrians.”
With more than 60 routes being made in Waco alone Gray wants drivers to keep a close eye on the road.
“There is no safer way to get to school than a school bus,”Gray said.