School buses in Ohio have to pass an inspection by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
But staggering numbers don’t pass; in fact they get sidelined.
But as National School Bus Safety Week gets under way, Bridgeport Schools have every right to be proud of their record.
They’ve never had a bus fail an inspection.
They admit they’re a small district–with 11 buses and only 16 square miles.
But they are perfectionistic about bus safety.
Their secret is reportedly daily preventive maintenance.
“If we get a report of something wrong on the bus, we take care of it that day,” said Edward Minor, director of transportation and maintenance. “We don’t let it linger.”
The tires and brakes are in great shape.
Even the engine is clean and pristine.
And the students are well-trained on how to act on board the bus.
“I think it’s very important for them to behave on the bus,” said Sharon Liston, first grade teacher. “For their safety, for the driver’s safety, and to make sure they get to their correct destination.”
And the students are aware that everything they do is caught on video.
“Our video surveillance system is excellent,” said Superintendent Zac Shutler. “It has great video and great audio. Parents can be assured that if there is an issue on the bus, they’ll be able to see exactly what happened.”
They only wish the other drivers on the road behaved as well as the kids.
Even the flashing red lights and the stop sign arm that extends from the side of the bus don’t get everyone’s attention.
“And they’ll run right past the red lights,” said Minor. “And every once in a while, we’ll catch them and we’ll turn them in.”
The bus drivers themselves have to pass an “inspection”of sorts–a yearly physical exam focusing on vision, hearing and general health.
The buses are kept immaculately clean, and the ride home is so pleasant, a few students linger longer than they should.
“We call them the sleepers,” chuckled Minor. “Every once in a while, we get a student that falls asleep on the bus. The driver finds him when he does his walk-through, and takes him home!”