Working odd hours in a mostly sedentary job, school bus drivers face a difficult challenge when it comes to maintaining a high level of personal health. Still, driving a school bus is a profession in which a certain level of physical fitness can be very important.
In fact, the state of South Carolina recently adopted new minimum fitness requirements for school bus drivers, in an effort to ensure they are capable of rescuing pupils in school bus emergencies. The fitness testing went into effect this month, adding South Carolina to the short list of states with driver fitness standards.
Testing is administered in conjunction with behind-the-wheel training for new drivers, and current drivers will have until July 31, 2003, to meet the requirements. The testing supplements a training video that drivers are required to view, which shows the proper ways to take students off the bus in a crisis situation.
Here is a list of the newly required tests drivers must perform:
• Go up and down the school bus steps three times in 30 seconds.
• Alternate between the accelerator and the service brake 10 times in 10 seconds.
• Fully depress and maintain constant, unassisted pressure on the brake pedal for 60 seconds.
• Open and close a manually operated bus service door three times in 20 seconds.
• Starting from a seat-belted position, move through the bus and exit the rearmost floor-level emergency exit door in 20 seconds.
• Drag a 125-pound object 30 feet in 30 seconds.