In a recent letter to the editor, many comments were made against the Columbia County Schools transportation system. The comment "...having drivers who are not fully trained operating our buses..." is as far from the truth as can be.
I have recently come out of the Transportation Office to drive a bus for Columbia County. I received my CDL in 1999 complete with S and P endorsements. I have driven in another school system for 4 1/2 years. Although, in my opinion, I was fully qualified to drive immediately, I was still required to drive one day with a trainer without students, to ride one day with another driver trainer with students, and then to drive another two days with students while another driver trainer was on board. I was also required to take a written general knowledge test. I will also be required to do further classroom training during the summer.
Coming out of the office, I have seen first hand the amount of time spent with trainees in the classroom as well as the time spent with them in the field. The instruction given by these trainers to make sure drivers are fully trained is without question excellent.
I would think the drivers in the field would take offense to the accusation they were not qualified. I have seen both sides and I have great respect for the drivers and the difficulties which they face daily, as well as for the trainers and the juggling act they perform. I am honored to be a Columbia County bus driver. I count it a privilege to be amongst such a professional group.
Christina May, Augusta
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