Students have been back to school for about a month now and it hasn’t been easy for area bus drivers.
6-News has learned problems are popping up they’re hoping parents can help fix.
“I’m going to be checking all my fluid levels, my belts, my fluid levels,” says Marcella Ozanich, Regional Trainer at Dean Transportation.
Marcella Ozanich has been busing mid-Michigan students for nearly 30 years.
“You get to know them and you enjoy them and I love it,” says Ozanich.
But there’s one issue she says is hard to manage.
“Kids do not stay seated, they’re up bouncing from seat to seat,” says Ozanich.
Because of that, she’s asking for help.
Encouraging parents to talk with their children about proper bus behavior.
“I don’t want to be looking in the mirrors all the time to see what they’re doing because I need to make sure that I’m driving down the road,” says Ozanich.
She trains bus drivers around the region.
She says there can be anywhere from 20 to 70 students on a bus at one time.
Almost daily, she says there are issues.
“If they’re fighting or doing something that’s totally unsafe then we may have to contact dispatch for help right away,” says Ozanich.
Ozanich says drivers often have to stop and get out of the driver seat to address the situation.
“We have to pull over to the side of the road, secure our vehicle,” Ozanich.
For Ozanich a school bus is an extension of the classroom and the most important part of her job she says is keeping students safe.
“We have certain safety rules on the bus and we ask that they follow them. If the parents understand that and can relay that message to their children that makes our job a lot easier because we have a lot of things to watch out for,” says Ozanich.
Teaching kids to stay in their seats and keep their hands and arms inside the bus, she says can make all the difference if the bus has to stop quickly.