Buses inspected for new school year - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Buses inspected for new school year

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John Garner says buses in the New Madrid County District ran almost 400,000 miles during the last school year. John Garner says buses in the New Madrid County District ran almost 400,000 miles during the last school year.
The district consistently adds new buses with new safety specs like seat belts for younger students. The district consistently adds new buses with new safety specs like seat belts for younger students.
Garner says parents need to go over some safety tips with their students like not running toward the bus and checking both ways before crossing the street. Garner says parents need to go over some safety tips with their students like not running toward the bus and checking both ways before crossing the street.
NEW MADRID, MO (KFVS) -

The morning commute to work could get a little bit longer in the next couple of weeks as school buses will be back on the road.

That means districts across the Heartland are getting its fleet of buses ready to go.

School districts in the Heartland spend millions of dollars every year to operate thousands of school buses.

In some rural districts, it's not uncommon for a child to be on a bus for nearly two hours a day.

And because of that, districts say bus safety is priority number one.

"Bus drivers in the district is probably one of the most important jobs, getting kids to and from school," said John Garner, Director of Transportation for New Madrid County R-1.

He says buses in the district ran almost 400,000 miles during the last school year.

"We probably work on a bus every day. Whether it's a light going out or a switch going bad, we're fixing a bus just about every day," Garner said.

Garner says they spare no expense to make sure students are safe on the bus.

The district consistently adds new buses with new safety specs like seat belts for younger students.

"As anyone will tell you, the school bus is probably the safest vehicle on the road. That seat compartment is basically a compartment that if we do have an accident, it holds the kids within that seat," he said.

The new buses also have four cameras, higher seats so the bus driver can more easily monitor students, and two stop signs with flashing LED lights to alert other drivers.

The buses are also inspected twice a year.

Along with the buses, drivers also must pass through a criminal background check and go through eight hours of training each year.

Garner says parents need to go over some safety tips with their students like not running toward the bus and checking both ways before crossing the street.

He says drivers need to be on the lookout as well.

"Our biggest issue is people running stop signs," Garner said.  "They feel like they're close enough that they'll get by before anyone comes across. I'd just ask if anyone sees those to please stop."

Garner also says the drivers in his district are some of the best in the state.

There's only been one accident in the district in the last two years.

If you want more information about your child's trip to school, bus route and driver information is available by calling your child's school.

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