North Coast bus drivers receive awards at ceremony

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MCKINLEYVILLE- About 100 bus drivers, from Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte Counties, participated in an annual workshop at McKinleyville High School on Tuesday.  At the workshop, the bus drivers had state and federally mandated training as well as the chance to be recognized for the jobs they’ve done.

Officials with the California Department of Education held presentations at the workshop, including lessons on the mechanics of a bus’ braking system.  For the awards ceremony, five bus drivers were given Safe Driving Awards by the California Highway Patrol.  To qualify, they must have driven at least 10 years or 100,000 miles without an accident.  A local chapter of the non-profit organization, the California Association of School Transportation Officials, handed out its School Bus Driver of the Year award as well.  A 14-year veteran of the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District, Roger Bailey, was the winner.

"It's just a different kind of responsibility.  You've got to think of others before you think of yourself," said Bailey.

“We transport hundreds of students daily to and from school and we do that with the best passenger transportation safety record in the nation.  That doesn't happen by accident or by chance, it's due to ongoing training of the drivers, such as today, to better educate the driver so they can better perform their jobs and maintain that safety record," said Sarah Goodwin, the First Vice President for Chapter 18 of the California Association of School Transportation Officials.