March 22, 2002
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TESTING AND TRAINING
By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Research Analyst
You asked how many inspectors the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has assigned to do license tests for school bus drivers and whether they are also responsible for conducting driver training classes. You also wanted to know how training classes are conducted with respect to whether they occur at central locations or are scheduled in places where there is demand for them.
According to information provided by Heather Donaldson, DMV legislative liaison, DMV has two inspectors assigned to license tests for school bus drivers. The inspectors are not involved in conducting driver training classes. There are no DMV personnel involved in school bus driver training.
According to DMV and Robin Leeds, Executive Director of the Connecticut Operators of School Transportation Association (COSTA), most drivers are trained by the school bus companies that employ them at their respective facilities. COSTA conducts the training for the instructors of the training courses and, occasionally, driver training for student transportation vehicle (STV) drivers because not all companies have people certified to train STV drivers. However, the bus companies usually have their own certified instructors for school bus drivers.
Leeds stated that the school districts that run their own school bus transportation systems, instead of using commercial school bus carriers, also usually have their own certified training instructors and conduct their training courses locally. However, occasionally, the school district may lose its trainer or the trainer may retire. When this happens, the district usually contacts either COSTA or an area school bus company for assistance in setting up a training class for new drivers.