Baldwin County bus drivers gear up for a new year

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) – When you’ve been driving a bus for 20 years, like former radio sportscaster Lane Lawley, you can bet he’s excited for the first day of school.

“I do. I love it and I’m very blessed with Spanish Fort Elementary. I have K through 5. So it’s just really wonderful being with all the young people we have coming up,” Lawley said.

That’s the general feeling if you ask the bus drivers about heading back to school. And part of getting back behind the wheel is brushing up on the basics.

“The bus orientation is naturally a good start of the year. It gets us acclimated to getting ready to start driving the buses once again and remind us of some of the safety features we need to get our minds on,” Lawley said.

Plus, it’s a chance to talk about things like being prepared in case of an evacuation and to introduce them to any new information.

“A lot of times, we have new routes. So we’re going over those routes with them, passing them off to the drivers. We’re giving them their information. Hopefully getting some new radios soon, we’ll get them training on that. Some background information, so when they’re left in the field on their own, they’re prepared,” Tony Pollard, a transportation supervisor for Baldwin County Public Schools, said.

Of course, this week was just a refresher for the drivers around the county. The actual training and certification is already done.

“They have to get their CDO, which they have to get that through the state. There’s federal laws that guide all that. And then they have a five-day training they have to go through to learn how to drive the bus as well,” Pollard said.

The first day for Baldwin County students is August 18.

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