The Augusta County School District is reassessing a bus driver who police say fell asleep at the wheel Monday morning, causing a crash.
Each year, bus drivers have to have a physical in which doctors check to make sure they have good hearing and vision. They also have to participate in two service days where they may do something like watch a movie about defensive driving.
However, they do not ever have to do an on-roads test, which concerns parents.
Augusta County mom Sarah Riddle doesn't think there should be a mandatory cut-off age for bus drivers, but she does say more rigorous testing must be done.
She says, "Well, maybe they should do tests like road cruises or something like that to just test their ability at how quick they can respond if someone stops or if all of a sudden there’s an accident you know, what their action would be."
Bill Schindler is the head of transportation for Augusta County Schools. He says each bus driver is thoroughly tested when they get hired.
"They take 24 hours of classroom, which is mandated by the state, and 24 hours of behind the wheel, which is 12 hours with students and 12 hours without students," says Schindler.
Schindler goes on to say that on Monday, the bus driver followed the right protocol by calling 911 after the crash took place. He says accidents happen and his people are trained on how to react.
"It’s going to happen from time to time and hopefully the results will be reduced," says Schindler.
While wanting to make sure her son is safe on the school bus, Riddle does say age is just a number.
She comments, "If they have a good mind, then I guess that's okay."
An important thing to mention is that all of the children who were taken to the hospital after Monday’s accident are doing just fine. Schindler says that safety is the most important thing to all of his drivers.