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.
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.