JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Twoinstances this week involving school bus drivers have many people questioningwho is behind the wheel?
One of those instances wasin Texarkana where the driver was caught crossing the center lane of traffic tobeat a traffic light. A second one happened in Texas after a driver was caughton camera allegedly bullying a student on the bus.
Westside Superintendent,Bryan Duffie said they have zero tolerance for that sort of behavior. They takethe hiring process for that position very seriously.
"Definitely want drivers whocan deal with issues yet at the same time be courteous to parents and handlethings professionally, if there are issues that arise," said Duffie.
When it comes to safe andqualified drivers, several requirements are met.
"The person has to have acommercial driver's license and they have to submit and pass a Department ofTransportation physical," Duffie said. "They also have to pass DHS child maltreatmentbackground checks, Arkansas State Police and FBI background checks."
In some cases when an aidis needed on the bus, Duffie explains even they must be properly trained.
"As far as hiring drivers,recommending drivers, or even aids who have to ride the bus to help with issues,it's important to have properly trained personnel on buses," he said.
Even with a shortage indrivers there are no cutting corners when it comes to the requirements.
"Every district isexperiencing this, there is a shortage of CDL and trained and licensed drivers,"said Duffie. "However, trying to find those quality drivers is priority for us."
Duffie said it is standardprocedure that a bus driver is drug tested if they are involved in an accident.