May 28, 2019

End Of Year School Bus Thoughts

As I approach the end of my first school year of driving my big yellow school bus I have some thoughts on the matter. I'm thinking of sending this into our local newspaper, so I'll write this in the style of a letter to the editor.

Dear local drivers,

As the driver of a big yellow school bus, I'd like to take a moment and thank all of the good, attentive and courteous drivers that I encounter on the roads around Dodgeville and Iowa county.

Thank you so much for understanding that I am helping to transport our future. The students in my bus will run our country when we have had our turn, so I thank every driver who has not gotten impatient with me as I go about this important task. Thank you to every driver who has waved me through when it was their right of way, but they wanted to help the flow of traffic for everyone (this is especially appreciated on Highway 23 going through Dodgeville).

Thank you to every driver that has noticed my bus. I know it's 40 feet long, painted bright yellow and has a wide selection of flashing lights, but some drivers have still completely failed to see it when I'm picking up and dropping off students. People get rightfully angry when they hear about students being injured or killed by distracted drivers who have ignored the red lights and stop signs on school buses, so thank you for your willingness to wait an extra 20-30 seconds during your journey.

I would like to thank all of the parents taking their students to school, for carefully staying out of the bus lanes, especially at the middle school. Children are easily distracted as they head into the school buildings, so reducing the amount of traffic in the bus lanes is an important part of protecting students from harm. I know it takes your child a few extra seconds to walk from the car lane, but your willingness to keep the bus lane free is greatly appreciated.

My further thanks go to every driver who has not tried to overtake me before I've even finished turning off of the road that they are following me on. School buses have a large overhang behind their rear axles and this results in what we call tail swing. The back of my big yellow school bus can swing out by up to three feet during a turn, so trying to squeeze past a turning school bus can result in contact and damage.

With sincere best wishes,

Simon Chappell

Tags: Personal Big Yellow School Bus