Tune-Up for School Buses (And Drivers) in Early County

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Over the past few weeks, things have been busy around the shop where Early County school buses go for repairs.

Every bus has been fully inspected, with checks on lights, horns, fluids and other functions.

But those tune-ups aren't just for the buses themselves. Early County bus drivers spent hours on Monday brushing up on state laws.

At bus stops, students now need to wait at least 12 feet away from the bus, instead of the ten feet they are used to. Another change is that all buses must stop at all railroad crossings-- whether they are flashing or not.

For bus drivers like Charlie Sol, a new year means a few new faces.

"You see the Pre-K kids coming on the bus and they're so excited about riding the bus for the first time," he says. "They come by and hug you and it's like extended family. You really get attached."

With that attachment comes the responsibility to protect students on the bus.

"Drivers on the road: it's a school bus. There's kids," Sol warns.

Bus drivers say the most important thing others on the road can do when behind a school bus is to be aware, look around and remember that for most kids getting on a school bus in the morning, the last thing on their minds is safety.

"Their mind is on seeing their friends. A lot of the kids are away in the summer. They're excited to be back," say Sol. "Their mind is not on safety. We have to be extra careful and the drivers on the road have to be extra, extra careful."

When kids leave home Wednesday morning for their first day of school, Sol and other drivers want parents to rest assured that here won't be any problems getting them there.

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