DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Dothan City Schools will be back in the classroom in about two weeks.
This year 20 new school buses will be taking students to and from school.
The Dothan City school district is 90 square miles, and school bus drivers have 500 miles to cover each day.
The new buses will make that a little easier.
“We're very proud and excited in Dothan City Schools with the buses we have recently purchased,” says the Director of Transportation Services Jay Bruner.
The director says the new buses are more efficient and safe.
“We have eight cameras on every bus with live view capability and also we have GPS,” says Bruner.
With more buses and a new staggered schedule, bus drivers can get to students quicker.
“Last year you had students getting to school an hour early and an hour after the bell would ring before a bus will come by,” says Bruner.
Safety is a top concern for DCS’s Transportation Services.
“A student can fail a test and we can go back and teach those standards, but when it comes to transportation we have to get it right the first time,” says Bruner.
That's why all DCS bus drivers are state-certified,
“They go through recertification every year. Our drivers who come on with have 8 days’ worth of class time and training with a state-certified training,” says Bruner.
But it takes more than trained drivers to keep students safe.
“So let's be mindful that kids may be crossing the road that a school bus may be coming to a stop,” says Bruner.
And never pass a stopped bus.
“Those few extra seconds that you're trying to save could turn to be very costly. That's the last thing we would want,” says Bruner.
Even students play a part by listening to their drivers, not talking at railroad stops, and using low voices.
“And before you ever cross in front of the bus. You never go behind a bus, you should always cross in front of a bus. If you have to make sure you look twice and, also look at your driver to make sure everything is safe,” says Bruner.
DCS now has 94 buses. You'll see some out next Wednesday, August 14th as they complete a dry run.
The buses will run in the morning and afternoon just like they will when school starts.
They will be activating stop lights so use caution when approaching them.
The dry run can help parents get an idea of what time their child should be dropped off and picked up from bus stops.