ECISD Dealing with Bus Driver Shortage While Maintaining Safe Driving Record

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- One third of the students at E.C.I.S.D. depend on buses for a ride to and from school, so naturally from the bus stop to the school yard student safety is a top priority.

"It's really hard to drive something this size in traffic and have to look away from the traffic to what's going on in the bus," E.C.I.S.D Bus Driver Sondra Junginger, said.

Sondra Junginger has more than thirty years of experience under her seat belt driving two bus routes in the morning and again in the afternoon. But accidents like the one in Midland on Monday still scare her.

"It's scary because it doesn't just put their lives at risk and the students with them, but the other people out in the road," Junginger said.

ECISD has 183 buses that cover more than 900 square miles of Ector County every day.

"There is a lot of parents who are in trusting the lives of their kids into our hands and we feel the weight of that responsibility and take we that very seriously," David Morris, Director of Transportation for ECISD, said.

So the district keeps a close eye on their employees to make sure they are fit for the job.

"We do pre-employment drug and alcohol testing before we hire somebody and once we hire them we do random drug and alcohol testing, so that any time they can be sat down for an alcohol or drug test," Morris said.

Morris also says it takes a special person to be a bus driver they need to have a lot patience enjoy being around kids and of course be a very careful driver who does not get easily distracted by more 60 noisy kids behind them.