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Lee County bus drivers get ready for back to school

Posted at 8:38 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 20:38:29-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Bus drivers with the Lee County School District hit the road Friday to test run their routes for the new school year.

"The kids haven’t seen each other all summer, they see the bus coming, and they’re not thinking much about safety," said driver Dana Gregory.

The kids might not be thinking about safety, but Dana Gregory has it at the top of his list.

He's one of over 700 bus drivers with the district who completed their test run today. As they make each stop, they take note of a few different things.

"We need to check and see if there is construction, overhead lines or homes being built on our route. All kinds of things and influence us and we need to find that out today."

Gregory ran into a few issues today such as basketball hoops too close to the street, and bus stops that could be moved to safer spots.

Director of Transportation Roger Lloyd anticipates in the Cape Coral area may be an issue for some drivers.

"That’s the one zone we expect most drivers to come back today and say that stop won’t work because it’s under construction."

If the drivers find any problems, the department will make adjustments before the first day of school.

Lloyd said they're already looking for ways to further enhance bus stop safety for next school year. This comes on the heels of two deadly hit-and-run crashes that involved two students.

"It's been legislated that by November of 2020 all of our drivers will need to be CPR and first aid certified.”

Last year, the school district counted 637 drivers who illegally passed school buses in one day. They're asking parents and other drivers to also do their part to keep kids safe.

"Please be on your tippy-toes as far as the awareness and getting you kids dropped off.”