What qualifies one to drive a school bus in Tennessee?

The stress associated with getting your kids to school each day in Shelby should be limited to the struggles that come with getting them out of bed or to remember to hand their homework in. How they get to school should be a worry-free process: just have them take the bus. Yet in doing so, you place a great deal of trust in the person hired by the school district to drive your kids around. 

Like most parents of school-age children, you probably assume that school district officials care as much about your kids' safety as you do, and thus ensure that all of their bus drivers are qualified and properly trained. While that may be the case in many instances, remaining compliant with bus driver rules and regulations can be a struggle. Knowing what these rules and regulations are can help you guarantee your district is on top of things (or show you where they may have failed should an accident occur). 

One must meet the following criteria to drive a school bus in Tennessee: 

  • Be at least 25 years of age
  • Obtain a commercial driver's license 
  • Accumulate five years of commercial driving experience 
  • Complete an annual bus driver training session

According to the Pupil Transportation Section of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, those drivers who do not complete annual training will have the school bus endorsement from their CDL, which would prohibit them from then driving a bus. Routine inspections of buses are also conducted. Those that are non-compliant to safety regulations are to be placed out of service. District officials are not permitted to utilize non-compliant vehicles or drivers when they are aware of any of the aforementioned restrictions. 

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