|Commercial Driver Licenses & Training|
|Written by Ryan Gray|
The federal government provides oversight of all commercial driver's license applications in the United States, including those to operate a school bus. Since 1992, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enforced regulations allows for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.
School buses are Class C vehicles, which do not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. Further, school bus drivers are required to obtain a school bus endorsement on their CDL, or the "S" endorsement, that shows they have passed the School Bus Knowledge and Skills Tests.
To obtain the S endorsement, and after passing all pre-employment screenings, the driver must test in a passenger vehicle equipped with federally-mandated school bus equipment. If a driver possesses a Class A CDL but obtains his or her passenger or school bus endorsement in a Class B vehicle the state must place an M restriction indicating that the driver can only operate Class B and C passenger vehicle or school buses. If a driver possesses a Class B CDL, but obtains his or her passenger or school bus endorsement in a Class C vehicle, the State must place a N restriction indicating that the driver can only operate Class C passenger vehicle or school buses.
Additional regulation may be enforced by individual states.
Normally, school districts or private school bus companies will hire a prospective driver under the condition that the driver study for and pass the CDL test.
Once hired, school bus drivers should be instructed on all vehicle operating equipment includingbut not limited to proper adjustment of mirrors, daily pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections in and around the bus, regulations for idling engines and proper re-fueling procedures. Drivers should also pass defensive driving courses and be trained on the proper procedures for loading and unloading students at bus stops. Drivers should also be certified in basic first-aid procedures including CPR and be re-certified per state requirements.
Drivers are also expected to exhibit professional attitudes toward students and parents alike. This includes training on student management and discipline, which are major requirement of school bus drivers. They should be trained on school district policy for maintaining order on the bus and reporting any and all incidents.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 13:54|