Ap­pre­ci­ate School Bus Driv­ers

Hartford Courant - - Opinion -

School bus driv­ers are un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated and un­der­paid. I know be­cause, as a suc­cess­ful re­tired busi­ness­man, I just be­came one. And as a past pi­lot and mer­chant marine cap­tain, I can say it is just as dif­fi­cult to be­come a bus driver.

To ob­tain a com­mer­cial driver’s li­cense with a school bus en­dorse­ment, you must pass four dif­fi­cult ex­ams at the Depart­ment of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles, pass ex­ten­sive back­ground checks and drug tests and take driv­ing classes for months in a 40-foot long bus. Then, you must pass a two-hour hands-on test with a state in­spec­tor, which 75 per­cent of ap­pli­cants fail the first time.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity th­ese driv­ers take on every day to keep your chil­dren safe is beyond be­lief, and I never hear them com­plain. While I wish their pay could rise to meet their level of re­spon­si­bil­ity, I’m not sure that will hap­pen. So, when­ever you see a school bus driver give them a smile and a wave and let them know how much they are ap­pre­ci­ated.

David Taylor, Rocky Hill

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