Is there any way to predict that a bus driver will do something bizarre that could endanger passengers, like Otto Nuss in the Pennsylvania hijacking? What should transportation managers be aware of in the wake of this incident?
The key here is for bus supervisors to get to know their drivers extremely well as soon as possible. This entails not only engaging the driver in frequent one-on-one conversations but also placing a video camera on the bus to observe driver behavior and interface with students and driver habits when operating the bus. For example, are the students suddenly thrust to one side when the bus is turning or thrust forward when the bus stops? It entails the bus supervisor/mechanic/senior department supervisor periodically inspecting the bus to determine if there are any “unusual things” on the bus that should be looked into. It entails conversations with principals to determine if there is any aberrant driver behavior being reported by students. And, when an anonymous call comes in about a driver, safety assistant or other transportation employee, the issue needs to be treated with sensitivity but investigated immediately to confirm or deny the allegation(s). We frequently ask principals to interview students who ride the bus.
Guilford County (N.C.) Schools
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