School bus safety in winter

Updated: Jan. 31, 2018 at 9:40 AM CST
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(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)

WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - Whether it's cold or not, many of you depend on buses to get your kids to and from school safely.

From engines to tires, a lot goes into winter-proofing school buses across the Heartland.

Starting with warming the bus.

"Depending on how cold it is, we might be in at 5 o'clock, we might be in at 4:30," Cynthia Loyd, contract manager with West Frankfort Illinois Central School Bus said. "Making sure they are all starting alright, that way we can get on and off the lot on time."

Loyd's company contracts bus service for West Frankfort schools. She said they go through a long list checking the bus from top to bottom.

"The drivers do a pre-trip every morning," Loyd said. "Mechanic makes sure out tires are where they're supposed to be. He checks them daily."

"Before we take the bus out we have to do a pre-trip inspection because our number one rule is the safety of the children," Heidi Smart with West Frankfort Illinois Central School Bus said.

It includes securing the trash, checking the engine for leaks, and making sure emergency latches will open.

"That in case of an emergency you see that they are able to open," Smart said. "So, yeah, this morning we had some ice and we had to press and make sure that they open."

Frankfort Schools Superintendent Matt Donkin said communication between the schools and the drivers is critical for student safety.

"Student safety is our top priority and bus safety is something we look at in all kinds of weather, but it becomes even more critical in winter weather when the roads are slick," Donkin said.

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