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Monday, August 14, 2006

School bus drivers being trained to spot terrorists

School bus driver training has been expanded with School Bus Watch, a program funded by the Homeland Security Department that trains drivers to watch for terrorists.

The training program raises driver awareness about terrorism, shows them how terrorists operate and teaches them how to report unusual activity. They are given a unique ID number and a toll-free number to call to report suspicious activity.

Training is provided free.

The program, which is being run by the American Trucking Associations and three school bus trade associations, began with “train the trainer” sessions at selected regional locations. Once trainers become qualified to teach the School Bus Watch program, they can train school system drivers. The goal is to train the nation’s 600,000 school bus drivers.

“School bus drivers already play an important role in the safety and security of their communities,” said Dale Kraph, a National School Transportation Association representative. “School Bus Watch gives them some additional tools to help them keep their communities, their vehicles and our children safe.”