Bus drivers preparing for the first day of school

Local News

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- As principals and teachers are gearing up for back to school, so are bus drivers.

Paul Judy, a bus driver in Dorchester District 2, says, “I love driving a bus. I love taking care of my kids, and I want them to be the best they can possibly be in life. Without an education, they can’t get ahead.”

For about 2/3 of the students in DD2 the school bus is how they will get to that education.

Judy says, “Treat the kids with respect and dignity, that’s the whole thing. I mean, I always tell them good morning, good afternoon, have a great day, and that means a lot.”

He knows his route by heart because he’s driven the same one for the last five years. About 1/3 of DD2’s bus drivers are new this year so they’re practicing to make sure they can pick up the children efficiently and safely.

Dorchester District 2 Transportation Director, Steve Shope, says, “We go out and look for the hazards and identify those, you know, there may be limbs that we need to get the county or the homeowners associations to cut.”

The bus drivers say the number one focus behind the wheel is safety.

Judy says, “It’s not something we say, it’s what we actually do, practice it.”

Shope reminds students to stay seated on the bus and get to the stop on time.

He says, “People that live right across the street from the bus stop have a tendency to watch for it and try to run out there to get it at the last minute, and sometimes cars don’t see them and we’ve had people hit by cars.”

Remember, the roads will be more crowded starting on Monday. School officials ask commuters to leave early and follow the law when it comes to stopping for school buses.

Shope says, “We don’t cut corners, we don’t speed, we don’t take shortcuts. If something is causing you a delay, the focus is on safely delivering the students on time.”

To check your district’s bus schedules, click here.

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