How safe is your child's school bus in the snow? We get the insi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How safe is your child's school bus in the snow? We get the inside scoop from a school bus driver

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Durham bus driver describs safe driving in the snow Durham bus driver describs safe driving in the snow
SPOKANE, Wash. - Travel safety is a priority as snow and freezing rain fall this time of year. But how safe are school buses going through the elements with your kids on board?

Actually, there are many pieces in place to make sure the bus is safe year-round, in any kind of weather. First of all, the buses weigh 28,000 lbs. and that's before anyone ever sets foot on it. Then you have the bus's tires, which have extremely high tread depth, and ensure that the bus will grip snow really well. Also there's the bus frame. It is strategically lifted about 30" off the ground, to make sure if a car were to hit it, that vehicle's frame would go underneath.

But school bus safety in the snow doesn't begin on the outside of the bus, instead it starts inside, in the driver's seat, with someone like Dave Hammond. Hammond has been driving for Durham for 6 years. Durham contracts with Spokane Public Schools, to provide travel service to and from schools across Spokane. Hammond says he loves the job and when the weather changes, "we take all parameters, and increase them. Follow further back. Make sure the sides are clear. Make sure the mirrors and the windows are clear."

Hammond says speed doesn't always have to change in the snow, but awareness is key. "We don't just drive the bus," he says, "we drive the traffic. Sometimes the guy behind us is our worst enemy." Sometimes staying safe means running a little late. But here's a message from the man who could be driving your kids to school: "It's very helpful when drivers are just polite."

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