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Monday, December 05, 2005

Winter driving for school bus drivers

Driving a school bus in winter brings the added challenge of winter weather, which can occur at any time on a driver’s route. To prepare the bus for winter conditions and drive safely in inclement weather, your drivers should:
* dress appropriately for winter weather, with gloves, boots and layered clothing
* perform pre-trip bus inspections, check tires, chains, wiper blades, heaters, windows
* carry supplies, including ice scraper, shovel, flashlight and lantern
* test brakes before leaving the bus yard
* drive defensively – reduce speed by half when driving in snow, start braking sooner on slippery surfaces, beware of ice underneath the snow, turn on strobe lights in low visibility conditions
* know state chaining laws and how to install tire chains
* use exteme caution when loading and unloading children, who could slip on ice or get their clothing caught in the door

Check the weather-stripping around the emergency door to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the bus.

Replace broken or cracked window glass and check to see that all windows close securely to protect the children from the rain and cold.

Turn on the headlights and body clearance lights when visibility is poor. Be sure that you can see and be seen by others. Clean light lenses as needed for maximum brightness.

Take care of the battery in your bus to prevent cold weather problems.

Use extreme caution when loading and unloading students due to the possibility of drawstrings from certain types of clothing getting snagged on the handrail in the step0-welll area or in the service door.