SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Donna Dennis has driven a school bus for more than 20 years. She now teaches other bus drivers to dos and don'ts of winter routes to avoid accidents from happening.
Videos of buses sliding over icy roads can easily be found on the Internet. Dennis showed us the routine for Bullitt County bus drivers.
First, drivers inspect their buses. That can take up to 20 minutes. They also check the brakes. The engines are also checked for any leaks. This is something they do year round but as the temperature goes down, Dennis says drivers' alertness should go up.
"We have a 12 to 15 second following distance but in bad weather in bad roads we want to increase that," she explained.
Road inspectors headed out before 3 a.m. Thursday.
"We just spend a lot of time just checking the roads and just making sure that everything is safe," said Staci Goedde, transportation director for the Bullitt County school district.
Mount Elmira Road was considered too icy and steep for a school bus to travel. The bus stops there had to be moved.
"We are not going to chance anything," Goedde said.
Parents were given an alternate bus stop. Others chose to drive their kids themselves.
Dennis said it's not just bus drivers that can help keep children safe; it's everyone else that's out on the road as well. She recommends people should slow down the moment you see a bus and anticipate it stopping. Dennis explained children tend to run onto the road to get out of the cold.
"They might not actually wait for that bus to put out that stop arm," said Dennis. "Just be sure to watch for the children."