Monday, October 6, 2014

School bus drivers must pass new physical fitness test

School bus drivers across the state will soon have to pass a physical fitness test to keep their certifications.

Starting Jan. 12, all school bus drivers will have to show they have the physical ability to do things like keep control of the bus in bad weather and swiftly evacuate children from the bus.

The final standards have yet to be published, but a draft copy gives a glimpse of what they're going to look for. Here are a few examples of what the drivers will be required to do.

  • Walk completely around the bus and ascend and descend the steps three times in 75 seconds. You can't skip steps while going up or down, and you can't go down the steps backward.
  • Move your foot from the brake to the accelerator 10 times in 10 seconds. Only the right foot may be used.
  • Hold the brake pedal fully to the floor for one minute.
  • Start in your seat with the seat belt on, walk to the back of the bus and open the emergency door in 20 seconds.
The new standards will apply to drivers of both yellow school buses and activity buses. Drivers can have as many retakes as you want. If drivers fail, their certification is suspended.

Drivers will have to pass the test for new certifications, to renew certification, and "if physical dexterity is called into question," says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's the over-under on the first EEO lawsuit being filed?

Anonymous said...

How about ability to actually bend over and tie their shoe?....

Anonymous said...

Law suit soon as every North Carolina bus driver I see is packing at least 250 lbs and female. They barely can put the seatbelt on themselves.

Anonymous said...

Do they still allow teenagers to drive school buses? I was driving one 2 weeks after I got my license at age 16; manual transmission and manual steering, you had to be in good shape to maneuver that beast.

Anonymous said...

Love it! These people are trusted with our children's safety while on those buses and they need to be able to complete certain tasks to ensure their safety. If you can't complete these simple tasks then you shouldn't be a driver. Now start the whining and crying like I expect to follow. 10 to 1 we'll get a couple of "That's racist!" too....

Thomas said...

What about police? I've seen a few that make me wonder?

Anonymous said...

Andrew-I am aware that you are new but could you not have gotten a comment from Carol Stamper or Guy Chamberlain's replacement? They could give you some background information as well as their opinion.
Kathryn Block must have you on lockdown. There is a lot of exiting within Central Office(the good people)and not a word from you-Andrew. Hint-ask about retention in HR or turn over in Central Office positions in the last six months/year.
You are better than this Andrew!

Anonymous said...

You cant find people to TEACH much less drive a bus.

Be prepared to pay more per hour now that you have to have more skills. The supply will not be there.

Like I told ALICIA, go get your CDL and drive a truck if you want to increase your standard of living for your family.

Taxpayers get ready to spend MORE for you Bus Driver !

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the other personalized learning schools are begging for money?
As does personalized learning=no math? our kids have not done any math yet this school year.

Bolyn McClung said...

.
THE LAST STEP IN SAFETY!

What I like is that this is a no cost approach to safety. The tests are reasonable.

However, that thing about opening the evacuation door at the rear of the bus could go one step further…literally one step more. Ask the driver to do a test jump.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about central office? Get rid of them and kick the money back to schools.. Tired of musical teachers and long term subs.

Anonymous said...

It is a simple equation: You get what you pay for. So before anyone makes an additional ignorant comment like Anon 1:02pm, 1:57pm and 2:36pm. If the education advocates that regularly post on this board were so concerned about bus safety then maybe they should begin lobbying to pay people more than $11.50 per hour.

Think about it, you stuff over 30 kids on a bus who are poorly behaved (yes, even little Tommy and Philbert from Ardrey Kell can't seem to control themselves while on a bus)and the person responsible for their wellbeing makes the same amount as a janitor.

Anonymous said...

This past July while teaching Summer School we had an issue where a bud driver was hit in the back of the head with a rock and a piece of wood while driving.

Bus safety has more to do with making sure your child does not act like an animal on the bus than it does with making sure the sixty year old woman driving it can run around in a circle three times in under 75 seconds.

Anonymous said...

Will talking on their cell phones be allowed? That would make these the physical dexterity test much more real world. Forcing them to do all of this without their cell phones just isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

OMG who cares??

I'm sure these are real world tests that simulate exactly what a driver would when out driving students.

Every second counts when you have to walk around the bus and go up and down the stairs in 75 seconds. I'm SURE there has to be some PRACTICAL application for that one...

Foot to brake/accelerator 10 times in 10 sec...yea in Charlotte Traffic maybe...

Hold brake to floor for 1 minute. Hmm, I don't hold my brake to floor that hard when I'm at a stop light...must have some practical application...

20 seconds to the back of the bus...hmm...I'd love to see someone do that with a bus full of freaking out kids...oh wait that's not the test...

OK...useless. move on. nothing to see here.

Pamela Grundy said...

Happily, in the most serious bus incident in recent years -- the time a bus from Chantilly Montessori caught fire -- the bus driver did an exemplary job of leading the children to safety.

Making sure that bus drivers are prepared and able to deal with such incidents is a fine move, as long as the tests actually reflect the skills that would be needed to safely evacuate children in an emergency. Many times, what is required in an emergency is a cool head and an ability to lead more than simply physical abilities.

Anonymous said...

Anybody with a brain who understands running a business knows why you can't 'kick all the money to the schools'. That is the oldest/dumbest thought process. Please get your head out of the sand. Your frustration is with the law makers in Raleigh.

Jim said...

Are the teachers able to do these things? When will agility tests and the like be given to the teachers? They are responsible for our children for 7 hours a day.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

Teachers should responsible for teaching and only teaching. It is your responsibility as a parent and member of society to make sure your child can conduct themselves in a safe and respectful manner when at school.

My 9th grade world history teacher was a walking heart attack but he was a wealth of knowledge and skilled educator. I would much prefer that my childs teacher is able to convey academic material than perform aerobics.

Anonymous said...

10:10pm do you think there are overpaid, somewhat unnecessary, redundant positions within the CMS ivory tower? I think that's the point. At least 25% of those positions could be eliminated without as much as a peep on the front line, the classroom.

Anonymous said...

9:50


fyi, school administration and teachers are responsible for our children's safety while at school, just as the bus driver is on the bus.

Are teachers trained to be able to respond quickly and safely in a crisis situation, just as a bus driver is?

Fitness tests for teachers might not be out of the question.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:00PM

Stop waiting for the gubment to take care of you and your family.

If you have done your part as a parent in training your children to act appropriately and the proper security personel do their job, there is no need to put our teachers through physical tests. I want teachers to be 100% focused on academics. If it means that a 300lb content expert can't walk down the halway without a resperator but can make a child understand an algebriac solution then that is what I want.

What would you rather have Stephen Hawking or Cam Newton teaching your physics?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:10PM,

Your comment is as rude as it is ignorant. The General Assembly nor NCDPI has any significant input on the amount spent on district administration. The CMS district level administrative positions are created by the district and not the state level. In most cases they are the few people who also have the opportunity to negotiate their own compensation.

If you were so business savy you would understand that the savings of labor cost that is not earmarked via grant or statute could be easily redirected to the classroom. Since the vast majority of district level positions have no such stipulation the person you were instructing to pull their head from the sand appears to have a far greater understanding of business than you.

Anonymous said...

BUS DRIVERS

Run dont walk to your nearest driving school and get your class A endorsement.

BETTER salary,healthcare benefits and retirement package than the CMS teachers. Over 300,000 job openings nationwide today.

Anonymous said...

What is the percentage of overweight woman driving a CMS school bus?

Good luck passing the new physical requirements. Doubt they stick to this policy. It will be over before it begins. The CMS way.

Anonymous said...

Boston Joe

What a bunch of Mo Mo's you have down here. You cant pay the teachers enough and now you expect the bus drivers to go through tests such as pushing the break and gas petal for a minute. Where is the Union ?

Anonymous said...

"National Walk to school day" today, wish we would have heard about this earlier.

Of course we don't hear about this at our school, but continue to be asked to for money to buy the school's furniture.

Anonymous said...

10:50

We love the idea of walking to school, and all schools should promote this endeavor.

Not sure it is safe for the high school students to walk in the dark to school, although it might do them some good.

Anonymous said...

exactly, how about more walking to school and less buses.