School bus drivers in Iowa are being reminded to check their vehicle for kids at the end of their route after a child was left on a bus in Eastern Iowa. Elaine Watkins-Miller, a spokesperson with the Iowa Department of Education, says bus drivers are taught to conduct the inspection during an annual training program.
"We do outline that (inspection) in our administrative code," Watkins-Miller says. Recently, a school bus driver in Cedar Rapids left a student sleeping on the bus at the end of the day’s route. A district spokesperson says the child was discovered a short time later.
Watkins-Miller says all new buses, built since November 2006, contain an electronic reminder for drivers to check their bus. The system involves pushing a button located at the back of the bus. "If they don’t push the button," Watkins-Miller says, "the horn will sound or the lights will (flash). So it forces the driver to make that walk to the back of the bus, insuring that check occurs."
There are more than 10,000 school bus drivers in Iowa. They’re all required to participate in an annual three-hour training program.