SJTSA conducts school bus safety survey -

SJTSA conducts school bus safety survey

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Some local safety advocates are keeping a closer eye on school bus drivers to make sure their hands are staying on the wheel and their eyes are staying on the road.

John Auer has been driving buses for the Egg Harbor Township School District for eight years now. He says every day before he lets the students board there is a safety check list to take care of first.

"Make sure you walk around the bus, make sure all the lights are working."

Once it leaves the lot there is another set of rules to follow when behind the wheel of the yellow ride.

But for those drivers who are not as mindful of their surroundings, the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance is stepping up to conduct a school bus safety survey.

"Looking whether or not they are belted and whether or not they are using hand held cell phones and we'll also take down gender and the bus company," said Teresa Thomas of the SJTSA.

Since 2006 the SJTSA has conducted a general public survey keeping track of illegal driver habits. This is the first year the group is focusing on school buses.

"We want them to be safe and we want them to be keeping their eyes on the road and hopefully avoid any incident that may cause a crash."

While the school bus survey will not look at the students, the bus driver says their safety is the number one priority. This means checking to make sure each seat has a working seat belt, and a properly working buckle.

"If we find some texting and driving then that's a written warning and suspension. Could be up to termination," said Director of Transportation at EHT schools, Warren Fipp.

But these safety advocates are hopeful that this is just a precaution.

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