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May 7 is 2012 School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Release date: 5/2/2012

Stan Heffner, state superintendent of public instruction, reminds Ohioans that Monday, May 7, 2012, is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in Ohio.

“Safely transporting students to and from school is a responsibility that should not be taken for granted,” said Heffner. “Pupil transportation is vital to the success of our students. The professionalism of Ohio’s 15,000 school bus drivers is why the school bus remains – by far – the safest way for students to get to school.”

Ohio school bus drivers transport more than 900,000 students daily, travelling 1 million miles per day to accomplish that task. At the same time, the school bus safety record is unsurpassed, greatly exceeding that of automobiles, commercial buses and even passenger trains.

To qualify to become a school bus driver in Ohio, an applicant must complete pre-service training and certified on-bus training, pass a driving evaluation and obtain a commercial driver’s license. In addition, drivers must pass pre-employment background and drug screenings. Drivers are required to be recertified every six years.

The Ohio Legislature designated the first Monday in May as School Bus Driver Appreciation Day to “increase public recognition of the important function that school bus drivers serve in safely transporting children to and from school.”

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Editor’s note: Drivers will showcase knowledge and skills in nine regional School Bus ROAD-e-os on May 5, 2012. For a list of location and area contacts, click here.

School bus driver-related story ideas:

  • Ride along with a bus driver to learn about what they encounter throughout a typical day.
  • Interview transportation staff – mechanics, supervisors, and drivers – to see the various aspects of operation.