COLUMBUS, Ga. — Parents here in the Valley are on edge following Chattanooga’s deadly bus crash. Five elementary school children died in the crash, and now a sixth is dead from injures. The driver is charged with reckless driving as police say speed was likely a heavy factor in the crash.
As parents express their outrage and confusion, News 3 digs deeper into the qualifications for bus drivers.
Wayne Summers of Columbus has two sons and says something more needs to be done when it comes to the background checks of bus drivers.
“You’re hoping a background check picks up any anomalies on that person that would raise a flag. I mean whatever we need to do to make sure that our kids are safe,” says Summers. “I mean I can’t imagine what those parents have gotta be going through. I mean it’s just tragic. These were elementary school kids.”
In Muscogee County, to be a school bus driver you must have:
- A CDL driver’s license with a Class B rating and a passenger endorsement
- All drivers are required to pass a physical screening, a criminal background check, and are subject to random mandatory drug/alcohol testing
- Trainees undergo classroom instruction
- Drivers must go through several hours of state-mandated supervised practice driving