More than 800 Wake County school bus drivers prepare for first day of school

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – More than 800 bus drivers will be back on Wake County roads on Monday with the start of the school.

To get those drivers ready, the Wake County School System held its Summer Transportation Summit. It’s the first on its kind for the district. 

Typically there’s a conference for each district in Wake County, but on Tuesday, all 18 districts were under one roof.

The summit started out with a lot of excitement and cheering from bus drivers as they represented their districts.

Drivers heard from Wake County Public Schools Superintendent Cathy Moore and Transportation Director of Operations Stephen Sposato.

Drivers also learned more about safety practices on the road and ways to handle student behavior on the school bus.

School administrators were available to help drivers navigate the best practices for dealing with behavior issues.

A big safety concern was sharing the road with cars. 

Bus drivers want to remind drivers to stay cautious.

“Once the red lights come on please just stop,” said Erick Edwards.

He’s been driving buses for 18 years. 

“At the end of the day, whether you have children or not they’re somebody child. So, we always want them to be able to go to school safe and come back home safe.” 

Jimena Mitchell, a Western Area senior administrator with the district’s transportation department echoed Edwards advice.

“You should be looking out for school buses and school bus stops. If you see students waiting on the side of the road use caution, slow down, and when in doubt, if you see a school bus just stop,” Mitchell said.

At one point, a bus driver shortage was a concern in the district, but CBS 17 has learned that every route is covered and will be ready for the first day of school.

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