The linchpin of every school bus operation is its professional drivers. Drivers are the vital link between Dousman Transport (DTC) and parents / children / schools, and they are the key to safety. Today, school bus drivers are the most highly trained, tested and scrutinized drivers on the road. Our drivers’ mission is to provide students with a safe and pleasant ride to and from school every day.
As is the school bus, the school bus driver is subject to layers of regulation. Before being hired as a driver, the applicant must pass a pre-employment drug test, physical examination and an in-depth background check is performed, including a driving record check. If the applicant has lived out of state in the previous two years, an FBI background check and fingerprinting is required. Only after passing those checks is the person allowed to start training for his/her Commercial Drivers License (CDL). The standards for the CDL are set at the federal level but implemented by the state. New federal regulations require school bus driver applicants to obtain a school bus endorsement to their CDL, which requires even more testing in both the knowledge and the skills required for transporting students safely. Drivers are also subject to rigorous physical examinations and must meet strict medical requirements to ensure that they are physically fit for the demands of their job.
Prospective drivers require specific training prior to transporting children. An average of 30 hours is spent with a driver trainer on behind the wheel training and classroom instruction. This training goes beyond the skills needed to maneuver a large bus through challenging urban traffic and along narrow rural roads; it includes such topics as behavior management of students, emergency procedures, crisis intervention, communication skills, vehicle inspection and training in first aid. Every school bus driver is part commercial driver, part teacher, part navigator and part emergency responder. This means that all drivers must have comprehensive training in all facets of their various roles.
Once they are licensed, their driving is carefully monitored. The drivers are assessed annually by our company driver trainer. Physicals examinations are required every two years. Random drug/alcohol tests are done quarterly. In addition, our company is enrolled in a State program that automatically notifies us if there is any activity on the drivers’ driving record. This includes any violations with their personal vehicle. Regular safety meetings on a variety of topics are held throughout the school year.
As a rule, school bus drivers perform well and truly enjoy their work. Beyond all else, they care about their passengers. Our motto at Dousman Transport is: "We Transport the World’s Most Precious Cargo." Our staff is always ready to answer your questions or concerns.