Bus drivers urging safety ahead of 2018-19 school year openings

SAND SPRINGS, OK (KJRH) - It's that time of year again; big yellow buses are once again taking to Green Country roads. But with an exciting time of year for kids, parents, and teachers, comes a hectic time for bus drivers.

Bus drivers urge taking caution if you're going to work or going home at the same time kids are being chauffeured on the road. They say especially at the beginning of the school year, drivers can be "stuck in summer mode", looking at their phones or not keeping a special eye out for the flashing lights of a school bus.

"The challenge is, do they see me?" Tara Lynn McDonald, a Sand Springs bus driver and dispatcher said. "Do they see the blinkers? Do they see the reds? Do they know that when we're stopping we're getting ready to let precious cargo on or off the bus?"

The distractions for bus drivers don't only exist outside the vehicle. When fully loaded, a standard-size bus can fit 71 children, which is more than two full classes. And when students are excited for the beginning of the school year, the inside of the bus can become pretty loud.

As the school year begins, Tara urges parents to make sure kids are in full view as the bus comes to pick them up, drivers to take special caution when buses are in the area, and kids to stay seated in their buses and use their "inside voices" to get to school safely and on time.

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