Bus driver trainers in training

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By Amy Wallot

A few weeks ago I received an email from Pupil Transportation Section Supervisor Elisa Hanley asking if I could come photograph the bus driver trainer program Vehicle at Speed. It sounded like an interesting opportunity, so of course I said yes.

The drivers I spoke with all had one thing in common, they loved driving the bus. For some, it was a second career after retirement and others a family affair. They smiled as they spoke about their affection for greeting the students every morning. A few even confessed they had never expected to like it as much as they do.

According to Hanley, to be a school bus instructor trainee a driver must complete 33 hours of training over a four-day course. The course includes classroom, track and road components. To become a driver trainer a driver must pass a teaching exercise,  a 100-question test and the track and road tests. Candidates must have two years of bus driver experience, be a state-certified Kentucky school bus driver and be nominated by their district.

There is always a need for school bus drivers. If you are interested in becoming one, contact your local or surrounding school districts to apply.

Program Consultant John Wyatt monitors Amber Brown as she navigates the course during the driver trainer instructor training at Franklin County High School.
Program Consultant John Wyatt monitors Amber Brown as she navigates the course during the driver trainer instructor training at Franklin County High School. Brown has been driving a bus for three years after her aunt, a bus driver in Boone County, encouraged her to give it a try.
Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
Pupil Transportation section supervisor Elisa Rosemond measures stopping distance on the course. Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
Pupil Transportation section supervisor Elisa Rosemond measures stopping distance on the course.
Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
Tim Gabbard asks a question to his trainer during the driver trainer instructor training. Gabbard, a bus driver in Laurel County, is retired from the Army and has been driving a bus for 10 years. "This is some intense stuff, even for us experienced drivers," he said. Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
Tim Gabbard asks a question to his trainer during the driver trainer instructor training. Gabbard, a bus driver in Laurel County, is retired from the Army and has been driving a bus for 10 years. “This is some intense stuff, even for us experienced drivers,” he said.
Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
Driver trainer Keith Main, left, explains to Lincoln County schools bus driver Ted Defosset how to operate the wheel chair lift on a special needs bus. Defosset started driving after he retired at age 63 and loves it. Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
Driver trainer Keith Main, left, explains to Lincoln County schools bus driver Ted Defosset how to operate the wheel chair lift on a special needs bus. Defosset started driving after he retired at age 63 and loves it.
Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
A bus loaded with trainees heads out to to train on the highway. Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014
A bus loaded with trainees heads out to to train on the highway.
Photo by Amy Wallot, July 9, 2014

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