I have always had an issue of busing children from their neighborhoods to schools that are far away, that process has disrupted neighborhoods and the comradery associated with walking to school everyday. But over the years my fears have been validated when it comes to transporting our children and the safety surrounding it.

Are you aware of the bad safety habits of school bus drivers?  Have you observed them talking on the cellular phone while driving?  Have you noticed them driving faster than they should?  I certainly have. One thing I also know is how EASY it is to get a job driving a bus.  I have heard horror stories of bus drivers actually cussing out students and doing all types of things while driving the busses.  I have been informed that these incidents are kept on the hush.  There are millions of dollars at stake and I guess you can see why they want to keep the “light low” on these incidents. But if the community really knew what was going on with the safety of their children, I believe stronger enforcement of the rules of transportation would be done and more on the street monitoring of drivers would be done as well.  Right now, it is pretty lax, in my opinion.

As I drive to work and back home every day, I am more aware of the on-road behavior of those who transport our children to and from school .  I am appalled at the behavior I have observed of some bus drivers behind the wheel, and behavior I have been told about when they are not driving the buses.

I see many driving too fast and I mean TOO FAST. They are tailgating cars, which mean they are stopping too close to the cars in front of them. They are talking on cellular phones as they drive the buses, even when turning corners with these huge buses. They are using one hand to maneuver the bus around sharp corners while they are talking on the cellular phone!!!  Is it me or does anyone else think this is dangerous?

For the past few years, I have begun reporting anonymously what I am seeing to the perspective bus companies, but I see no improvement in the way the drivers are driving the buses.  Perhaps it should be more than me doing it. Then I have learned that at these “bus stations” fights break between the drivers?????   I mean, I have a bit of information from a pretty reliable source, who was in an argument personally. Yes, they get fired but guess what? They simply move on to another bus company.  No behavior management classes or anything are mandated for them.  If they are so unprofessional that they will fight on the job, they really need professional help in proper behavior and anger management.  They also need reminding by their companies; on a daily basis; to not use their phones when the buses are in motion. Even regular car drivers told to use hands-free methods when driving their cars, even though I think driving while holding long conversations on a cellular phone is a danger period.

If we care for our children, we ALL must be the watchers to assure that they are safely transported. Winter is coming and the roads can be pretty dangerous and slippery. We need our drivers with both hands on the wheel, monitoring their speed and paying attention. 

So when you see these drivers, driving unsafely, please report them.  I think you may call Milwaukee Public Schools transportation department and get a list of all the bus companies that service the school district with the telephone numbers.  Keep it in your car and REPORT THEM.  Be sure to note the day, the time, the area and the bus number.  I know this is a lot but there has to be more than a few people who are making sure of transportation safety for students. We cannot expect Milwaukee Public Schools or the bus company managers to be able to see everything.  We are on the streets with them, we see it, and our duty is to report it.  Perhaps we should start calling the BUS COMPANIES out by name and incident??????