Of Course You Don’t Want A Loud Radio On A School Bus

November 20, 2008

From WVNSTV.com Charleston, WV


School Bus Safety: Rowdy Kids

Posted Thursday, November 20, 2008 ; 05:00 PM

A car full of screaming kids can be a handful and extremely dangerous. Imagine a bus load. But bus drivers do it everyday.
Story by Kate Krivanek

BECKLEY- — "Just looking off to deal with a discipline problem could cause you to rear-end somebody." said Ray Meadows, a Raleigh County Bus Driver.

To prevent accidents, bus drivers says they have to lay down the law.

"At the beginning of the year you lay out what you expect and what you expect them to do." said Dreama Carte, a Fayette County Bus Driver.

State Transportation Director, Ben Shew, says it’s imperative that bus drivers have control of their bus–and the students in it.

"If the students are rowdy, there’s no question that would take his attention away from driving the school bus." said Ben Shew, state transportation director.

To maintain a safe and calm bus ride–Shew says new training is being offered for bus drivers.

"We have a new training program that we instituted last year and it’s up-to-date on how to handle students rather than just yelling and screaming at them all the time." said Ben Shew, State transportation director.

Part of the training focuses on bullying.

"We are providing training to the drivers so they understand the issues of bullying and how important it is that they stop something before it becomes significant." said Ben Shew, state transportation director.

And for problems the drivers can’t always see–they rely on an extra set of eyes.

"Security tapes that they are putting on school busses is another means." said Ben Shew, state transportation director.

Fayette County Transportation Director, David Seay says he tries to help drivers maintain a low roar on busses by tagging along.

"I ride a lot of busses. And you can really tell a driver that has their kids well trained and a driver that doesn’t have their kids under control just by the volume and by the behavior of the students." said David Seay, Fayette County Transportation director.

"Noise is important. And we want to keep the noise level in the busses so that the driver can hear horns blowing, trains, sirens." said Ben Shew, state transportation director.

"We encourage drivers if they are going to play a radio to have it down low–to keep the kids volume down low." said David Seay, Fayette County transportation director.

Shew says students that misbehave on the bus get issued their punishment at school.

"We provide information to the parents through the schools on what we expect of the parent as well as of the student at the bus stop, which is the most critical area, and then also, on the bus." said Ben Shew, state transportation director.

BusRadio of course is loud. It has to be loud for the advertisements to be heard. Some schools have told us that BusRadio has a MINIMUM VOLUME LEVEL. That means you can’t turn it down so it is just faint background music. The radio can be turned off, but the volume isn’t totally in the control of the driver. This makes sense from BusRadio’s point of view. Advertisers will not pay BusRadio unless they have guarantees that their commercials can be heard over friends talking to friends, outside road noise and the general sounds a school bus makes just traveling down the road.