The Driver’s Club

August 26, 2008

BusRadio is controversial for many reasons. Forcing kids to listen to commercials is clearly the main reason schools have refused their “free” deal. Probably the second biggest reason schools reject BusRadio is their bizarre policy of playing “clean” or “cleaned up” songs from groups and artists known for their explicit content. [When BusRadio plays music by Buckcherry, Green Day, Diddy, One Block Radius, Hinder, Shawty Lo, Lupe Fiasco, Simple Plan, and My Chemical Romance (to name a few BR explicit artists) they cannot seriously claim to be “age-appropriate” for any secondary school student.]

While these are obviously important issues for parents and school administrators to consider, these reasons pale in comparison to the issue of bus driver distraction.

Let us state it as bluntly and as clearly as we can: BusRadio wants the attention of not only the captive audience of young bus riders, but they want the attention of school bus drivers too. When they get the attention of a bus driver, the driver is distracted. One can argue the degree of distraction, but not that the distraction doesn’t exist.

BusRadio NEEDS school bus drivers to like their company. They need drivers to become loyal supporters of their private company. Drivers who feel connected in some way to BusRadio will more than likely play the BusRadio program for their riders. The more the radio program is actually heard by riders, the more ad revenue for BusRadio. The driver is the most important person in the BusRadio universe. The driver controls whether or not BusRadio’s advertising and other content is played on the bus. BusRadio can add bells and whistles to buses, but if drivers decide to not turn the radio to the “Mat and Lucia Show,” then all is lost.

To win over drivers, BusRadio has come up with a not-too-original plan: BusRadio will throw money at school bus drivers.

Below is a link to a portion of a BusRadio show that aired this week. The two BusRadio DJs are talking directly to school bus drivers. The DJs have been instructed to get drivers signed up as members of the “Driver’s Club.” This “club” is a way to get money into the wallets and purses of drivers.

No Superintendent, school board member, principal, bus transportation director, or parent should EVER want this company talking to, or dangling cash in front of, any school bus driver. This is insane. This is real, honest-to-goodness distraction. Drivers have to listen for their name to be called out by the BusRadio DJs in order to win. BusRadio has awarded $500 and $100 American Express gift cards to winning drivers.

Put yourself in the position of a school bus driver. You know railroad tracks are coming up on your route. You know that it is universally accepted that school bus drivers should NOT be listening to radios, especially when they need to be aware of outside sounds, such as those that may be present when approaching a railroad crossing. You also know that you have joined BusRadio’s Driver’s Club and they may be calling out YOUR NAME at any moment. If you have the radio off, then you can’t hear your name and no rider can listen for your name. Missing your name being called out by BusRadio could cost you $500. What are you going to do?

Parents want their school bus driver to have one and ONLY one goal in mind when they are driving their bus. That goal is to deliver their child to school and back to home SAFELY – day in and day out. Parents want driver distraction to be kept at a minimum. Their child is on the bus. Parents don’t want Lucia xxxxxxx and Matthew xxxxxx, the two wacky buffoon DJs in the audio clip below, talking to their child’s driver. They don’t want these two disc jockeys to be offering their child’s driver a chance to win a digital camera or gift cards. To be blunt again, parents want Ms. xxxxxxx and Mr. xxxxxx to kindly shut up and let the driver DRIVE.

CLICK HERE: Listen to BusRadio’s DJs urge school bus drivers to join the Driver’s Club. BusRadio even plays songs requested by drivers.

Schools that ignore this source of driver distraction do so at their own peril.