EBR bus drivers train for new school year
BATON ROUGE - Hundreds of buses will hit the roads in East Baton Rouge Parish next week when school begins in Louisiana.
Gary Reese, the director of transportation for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, said before their bus drivers got behind the wheel they first had to go through a lengthy training process.
"Both in the classroom and in the field... before they're allowed to drive students they have to go on the road with a seasoned trained driver to ensure that they're handling the equipment properly and make sure that they're prepared to take the students to school," Reese said.
The school system takes a look at the criminal and driving history of each bus driver applicant, and they have to pass four written tests before getting their permit. Then they train behind the wheel for three to five weeks before taking a third-party test.
"You have to keep your eyes on the road... at the same time you have to make sure the kids are sitting down, not talking too loud, not hitting each other, but all in all you have to keep your eyes on the road. Just like I said, anything can happen in a split second and you're endangering everybody, yourself and the kids," said bus driver Alexis Brown.
"We want to make sure that the parents of the students that go to our schools feel comfortable that their kids are riding safely on the bus, that the drivers are tending to them, to the needs that they have to make sure these kids get to school so that we can get them educated," said Reese.
The school system says 560 buses will hit the streets starting next week.