School bus driver applicants must meet federal and state requirements in East Tennessee

buses

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Becoming a school bus driver can be a long and arduous task but school administrators say it is all worth it just to make sure your children and drivers are safe.

Don Kinkaid has been driving school buses for Kingsport City school for three years now and since the beginning of his time with the school system he’s gone through the process of making sure everything is in working order before dozens of children board the bus and they become his responsibility.

His job now thrust to the spotlight after five children lost their lives in a bus accident in Chattanooga.

“Our drivers were somber, quite this morning,” Tommy Starnes said.

Kingsport director of transportation Tommy Starnes says despite what happened in Chattanooga
parents in our area shouldn’t worry.

“I have 100 percent confidence in all of our drivers and we check up on, we pull videos from a bus once a week and watch the driver.”

School officials say while anyone may be able to fill out an application to become a bus driver, they don’t hand the keys over easily.

There is rigorous training and background checks.

“Encompassed in that background check is a DCS report to see if there is any findings of child abuse. There is also a criminal background check,” Kimber Halliburton said.

Washington County Tennessee director of schools Kimber Halliburton says fingerprinting and background checks are done by the TBI and FBI.

In the state of Tennessee school bus driver applicants must have to pass a drug test and a physical exam. All bus drivers mus have a CDL license Class B with passenger and school bus endorsement.

In order to get that CDL license  driving test and training is done by the school system and the state.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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