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DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – School bus drivers are getting ready for the start of the new school year and they’re hoping you will prepare along with them.
Drivers are taking ‘dry runs’ on the routes they’ll travel from now until May, and they think North Texas commuters should be preparing for walking children and school zones as well.
School bus drivers working out of the North Dallas Service Center will be practicing their routes today and tomorrow, so expect to see as many as 1,900 Dallas County school buses out on the roads.
CBS 11 News road along with driver Tammy Romero, who has been behind the wheel of a school bus every year, for 16 years.
She says some of the biggest safety issues she sees are distracted drivers and people in a rush, going around the crossing arms. Drivers are never supposed to pass a stopped bus that has the school bus arm extended and red lights flashing.
Parents are the only ones in a rush. Sometimes students act drastically when they don’t get to the bus stop 10 minutes early as suggested, or even on time. Romero says, “Sometimes they’ll be running out of the house trying to catch the bus or they’ll see the bus at their stop and they’ll try to chase the bus, to catch up with the bus. “
Prentice Harper, the Area Director at Dallas County Schools, says students can be overzealous. “Sometimes kids are so eager. They get off that bus and they just — shhh (noise) like a rocket.”
The area 10 feet around a school bus, on all sides, is the most dangerous for students. Drivers need to stop their vehicles far enough back to allow kids to safely enter and exit the bus.
As for bus safety – all Dallas County Schools buses are in the process of getting seat belts; so just like in private vehicles parents need to teach their children to always buckle up.
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