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4 Common Risks Schools Face When Managing Bus Drivers

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Schools face an ever growing challenge of making sure their kids are safe these days. While some events are outliers and seemingly unavoidable, there are a number of potential risks/threats that are avoidable if the necessary steps are taken.

Some of the more pressing challenges that schools face come with DOT Medical Cards and the issues that can arise due to lack of automation and communication. Information is key, and what you don’t know may create a string of negative consequences. Review this list of common risks associated with DOT Medical cards for bus driver new hires and re-certifications.


1. Employee Committing a Crime After They are Screened

You may have hired a new employee and they passed their initial background screen for employment. They looked like the perfect candidate and a model citizen. What about AFTER they have been hired? How will you know if they wind up with a criminal record after they have started to work for you? Safety is not a one-time thing. It must be an ongoing process.

BIB’s monitoring product will perform a monthly sweep on your list of employees to help uncover any new records that may occur. You will be notified of any change, prompting you to review that individual’s status and take the proper administrative actions.

You will have peace of mind knowing that you not only performed your due diligence on the front end, but are continuously monitoring as well to make sure your vulnerable population stays safe

2. Expiration Date of DOT Cards

A DOT physical exam is valid for up to 24 months. The medical examiner may also issue a medical examiner’s certificate for less than 24 months when it is desirable to monitor a condition, such as high blood pressure. There are also 3-month DOT cards available. These are considered temporary cards and are given to allow individuals time to get a specific condition under control. For example, if your blood sugar is too high, you might be given a 3-month card so you can see your provider and figure out what medications you need to take to control your blood sugar.

If you are not aware or do not keep up with expiration dates, you could have a potentially unlicensed individual transporting your schoolchildren and/or lose them and be short a driver when you need them the most.

Having a process that keeps track of expiration dates and notifies you prior to expiration date is key. Forget spreadsheets – automation here is key.

3. Navigating Complicated DOT Medical Card Compliance Laws and Regulations

There are a number of difficulties associated with managing DOT cards in regards to their complicated compliance laws, regulations, drug testing guidelines and renewals.

Just determining the regulations for Education Related Transportation is enough to ruin your day. Each state has its own reporting requirements, who and who will not accept email Medical Certifications, as well as the different consequences of a driver’s failure to keep medical certification current. This goes hand in hand with the challenge of monitoring expirations.

4. Dangers of Not Running a Background Check on Bus Drivers

Did you know that bus drivers are the only school employee that are allowed to be alone with students off school property? This is why background checks, medical checks and continuous screening on bus drivers is so important.

Some 480,000 school buses carry 25 million children — that would be more than half of America’s schoolchildren — each day, making the school bus industry the largest form of mass transit in the United States. The average number of schoolchildren transported by each bus is 54.

That’s 54 lives in the hands of one individual. Considering the frequency and proximity of these people to children, wouldn’t you want to make sure that person does not have a history of violence or criminal record?

When you can successfully manage these issues as part of a streamlined process, you will have a much better chance of staying out ahead of the potential risks associated with DOT Medical cards, screening and certification.