Before kids fill the seats, drivers are inspecting their buses. "They do a pre-trip and it takes 15 minutes. They walk inside and outside of the bus. They do a brake check to make sure things are working properly," says Randi Bullard, Operations Supervisor for Durham Services. Now Durham is adding anti-terrorism tactics to its daily inspections. Bullard said, "Since, we have had so many security risks in the nation, they're asking us to be on alert for our bus drivers and to notice any suspicious persons or packages."
Bullard says a forgotten lunchbox or a backpack could be the first sign of an impending terror attack. "If you have a Spiderman backpack on a bus with an older group of kids and things are sticking out of it or an odor is coming from it, be careful. We tell them to be alert." Drivers look for the four B's--bags, bottles, boxes and backpacks, any of which could be suspicious. They also learn what to do if they find something dangerous.
It's their eyes that Durham wants drivers to keep on alert. Bullard says, "Try to keep suspicious people in sight until help arrives. Note vehicle description, license plate, stickers and logos, etc." The goal is to make sure kids arrive at school safely every day so bus drivers are trying to make that trip as secure as possible. Bullard says, "We have to make sure we protect kids with everything we possibly can. They're precious cargo. It's not like we're transporting boxes. We have lives in our hands."