Drivers at First Student prepare to head back to school

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - We've seen a summer without the big yellow buses, but soon they'll be back on the roads, transporting thousands of students each day.

First Student of Western New York employs about 1,500 people and has a fleet of about 1,300 school buses. Drivers have been preparing this summer to get behind the wheel, spending hours on closed training courses and practicing their routes on city streets.

First Student drivers are required to complete close to 50 hours of training before a single student gets on the bus, which is more than the FAA requires for a private pilot license.

We've got some tips to make sure you and your family stay safe on the roads this school year:

  • Make sure your students are looking for the universal crossing signal from their bus driver if they have to cross the street
  • Students' shoes should be tied, their hands should be free so they can use the railings to get on the bus
  • Stand ten big steps away from the bus so the driver can see you at all times
  • Sit the right way, both feet on the floor and back against the seat
  • Be still until the bus completely stops
  • For drivers: maintain a safe distance between your car and a bus
  • Stop for flasing lights, stop arms. It means a child is entering or exiting a bus
  • Never pass a bus from behind, it is illegal in all 50 states
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