In a statement made by the CVLB or the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, that there is no one with a criminal record amongst its 14,757 school bus drivers in the entire of Peninsular Malaysia, is indeed rather enlightening news. Many parents, I am certain, would feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted from their shoulders.

This comes in the wake of incident involving an illegal school bus driver. On the 26th July, 2010, the van driver parked his vehicle along Jalan Othman, and forced himself on his 10 year old passenger.

The public outcry which followed, has led to some quarters suggesting, amongst other things, that school buses, have a 2nd driver or a woman conductor to ensure the safety of our young school children who travel to school using school buses everyday.

Regarding the matter, the CVLB board chairman, Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sidigue, told a press conference held at Putrajaya recently, to the CVLB, it is a standard operating procedure for it to censure the background of potential applicants applying for any licenses which are issued by the CVLB. Those found with criminal records and blacklisted by the Police Authorities, will be rejected.

For readers’ information, it is my opinion, that those aspiring to become “instructors” of driving schools and institutes, also face stringent screenings by the J.P.J authorities, prior to their being selected.

For parents to know that their siblings’ school bus operators and drivers are legally approved by the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board or CVLB is not by itself sufficient. Infact, parent’s responsibilities to their children in the selection of a school bus, goes much further than that.

This article will therefore emphasize on a few important factors which have to be taken into consideration. Amongst other things to be considered must surely be:-

1. Know the driver or operators of the school bus entity.

Ensure that as a parent, that you know, the school bus driver personally. As a parent, I’m sure you’ll feel more confident entrusting the responsibility of sending your children day in and out to school. Amongst other things, know:
a. where the driver stays

b. his background and his character as a person

c. his contact numbers, his house phone and handphone numbers

d. where he stays

e. is he a person that can be trusted?

Calculating a good and close relationship with your school bus driver is never a loss. Infact, it is a gain, always.

2. Ensure that the school bus used to ferry your children is in good order.

As a parent, make sure that the vehicle used to ferry your child or children is in good condition. The air conditioning system is of utmost importance. Poor air conditioning system of the bus plays an important aspect in your children’s comfort. Monitor this important item carefully for your children’s welfare.

3. Basic amenities such as fire extinguishers, emergency cones and medical kits.

Fire extinguishers, emergency triangles or cones and medical kits are important items a school bus should have. As a parent, you should be aware if such amenities are available in your child’s school bus. Gently advise school bus drivers regarding the importance of these important items.

4. Calculate a good rapport with your child’s bus driver.

Nothing infact beats a good rapport between you as a parent and the bus driver than anything else. Such a close rapport, ensures that the service provided to you to your family becomes “personal”. If such a rapport exists between you and your child’s bus driver, rested assured you will be accorded the best attention you wish to expect for your child or children for that matter.

The service of a school bus is extremely important. As parents most of us are working. As for the wives, most are busy housewives, unable to tend to the needs of sending their kids to school. As such, the services of a good and responsible school bus driver become an extremely important factor in our lives.

Inspite of what parents do, or how much care and concern we put into our children’s school bus operations, there will always be some errant, blacksheep, illegal school bus operators around. This is something we will be unable to prevent happening.

However, we as parents, we can contribute to ensuring that most, if not all, school bus entities, can be run professionally and to our satisfaction.

When we think of it seriously, school bus drivers do contribute a yeoman’s service to the society as a whole. Hurrah to school bus operators through out the entire nation. We sincerely appreciate your service to our children. We salute you!