Students returning to the classroom face new school bus safety rules

NEW YORK (WABC) -- School buses in New York State are safe and ready for students to return, according to the President of the New York School Bus Contractors Association.

Corey Muirhead told Eyewitness News school bus companies have been preparing throughout the summer with new safety guidelines and protocols.

Speaking to parents, Muirhead said, "Don't fear the bus. We've put together a comprehension safety precaution plan."

Muirhead said school bus drivers will wear masks and gloves and will disinfect the entire bus twice a day - once after the students are dropped off at school and once at the end of the day.

He said drivers will load students into the bus from the back to the front and they will direct students to exit the bus from the front to the back.

"This is going to minimize anybody crossing each other," he said.

Muirhead said students will be required to sit alone unless they live in the same household in which case they will be required to sit together.

"These are ways we could find to try and make sure that we could maximize the capacity so everybody does get on these buses," he said.

Some school buses will have stickers on the seats to ensure students sit in a staggered fashion.

Muirhead said in order to assist with ventilation buses with air-conditioning will have it running the entire time and all windows on every school bus will be cracked open.

Muirhead said drivers will periodically check to make sure students are wearing their masks and are sitting alone, if they're required, but he asked that parents also speak with their children about the new rules, so the driver can focus on driving.

"Parents have to tell their children to stay one to the seat, make sure they wear masks. Right now, we all have to do our part," he said.

Donald Matthews is a school bus driver in Oceanside and took students to school this week. He said the children followed all the rules.

"The kids are great," he said.

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