New school year has bus drivers thinking about safety

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Updated: 9/02 4:27 pm

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. - School districts, including bus drivers, are in full prep mode for the first day of school.

With 4,400 students to transport and 81 different bus routes, a lot of planning goes into transportation before the start of school.

“Some of the drivers picked new runs, it's a new area for them," said Mary Ann Belmont, Transportation Supervisor for EGCSD.

Drivers at the East Greenbush Central School District have had a full week to get to know their routes for the school year and practice driving through.

Marie Noeth will be on the roads in two days to pick up hundreds of students.

“You have to learn the students have to learn the route that can be a challenge,” said Noeth.

Noeth has been a bus driver for 23 years. She says drivers on the road can sometimes create obstacles in the morning and the afternoon when she is picking kids up and returning them back home.

“They take our stopping space cut in front of us pull out in front of us,” she said.

Noeth even has a list of running trouble spots where she says drivers are notorious for speeding by school buses. This week she is making sure she knows every twist and turn along the route so she is prepared to make quick decisions if she needs to.

“There are no children out at that time but you can get acquainted with stop and turns,” said Noethe.

When transporting more than 4,000 students between 100 different buses, you can never be too prepared

“The more familiar they are the more they can focus on students," said Belmont.

And in nearby neighborhoods, parents and kids are preparing too

“Sometimes hectic sometimes very smooth,” Maria Ford, a guardian.

It is recommended that parents and students find out what route to take before the bus shows up for the first day of school. This will relieve some anxiety about the day.

“You need to train students how to cross safely," said Belmont.

The Transportation Department recommends being with a child at the bus stop, especially on the first week.

Most school districts have route information posted on the school district websites. 

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