School bus drivers get into gear for new semester

School bus drivers get into gear for new semester
Katrina Shepherd
Katrina Shepherd
Kenneth Williams
Kenneth Williams

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County School  bus drivers are getting into gear for the new semester, a two day training session is now underway.

"We are doing a skills test where we are checking for any defects."

It's a procedure all Dougherty County school bus drivers perform every year.

"Well, things can change over the summer you can forget certain things when
you are not working all summer," said school bus driver Katrina Shepherd.  "It's a refresher."

And no area is off limits, from examining emergency exits and the engine.

"To check the tires, the lugnuts may be missing," Shepherd continued."Or a light bulb may be missing."

Once all parts are functioning drivers hit the pavement, orange cones guide them, mimicking road curves and tight spots for parallel parking.

Transportation Director Kenneth Williams stresses the importance of being up to date with safety features.

"That we have the right people doing the right job everyday," said Williams.

The checks are vital, especially before and after pick ups when dozens of students flock to the bus.

"Second, third and fourth graders, 72 [students] maybe two to three to a seat. But our bigger kids, our middle and high school kids, we seat two to a seat, so that's about 43, 44 kids," continued Williams.

"We're responsible for other people's children," said Shepherd. "People love their children so we have 
to make sure they get home the same way they left."

Drivers are also required for classroom training to further enhance their skills, building confidence
for the new school year.

"I look forward to going back to work next week," said Shepherd.

School officials want to remind drivers to watch out for students and obey traffic laws around school zones.

Dougherty, Lee and Worth Counties are set to begin class the first week of August.

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