KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Basic defensive driving rules for everyday drivers tell you to look, think and plan ahead, but do those same rules apply to Knox County school bus drivers?
Lynch Bus Lines has been transporting thousands of Knox County school children for 30 years. Charles Lynch Sr., the owner of the company, says bus drivers are some of the safest drivers on the road because of the training they go through. Lynch was shocked about Tuesday afternoon’s deadly two bus crash. He heard the news while on his own route.
“I pulled over to the side and cried and it still disturbs me that parents have to do without their children and these drivers have to face the rest of their life with that scene in their mind,” said Lynch.
Lynch says his bus drivers become close with their students, keeping them safe while driving is more than just a task.
“We almost consider them our children. It’s not just a job. It’s something that you finally develop into. You look forward to seeing them on report card day,” said Lynch.
Lynch requires his drivers to go through hours and hours of instruction before getting behind the wheel.
“Our drivers have to go to an annual safety course each year, a refresher course for some of them safety is always first and foremost,” said Lynch.
Every time they leave the lot, drivers are required to inspect the inside and outside of their bus, a skill new drivers learn during a three week period of instruction. Lynch says they also spend lots of time learning their route on the road.
“It would probably be broken up into about two, two-hour periods, four hours each day,” said Lynch.
Lynch says his experienced drivers are trained for at least a week. Besides learning their routes during the training period, drivers also have to study book material.