School bus driving training topic for Kiwanis

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Kiwanis P.M. member Kenny Lamb, right, welcomes Keith Lambertson, a 50-year veteran of school bus driving, as he brings insight to the qualifications and changes in school bus driving over the years to the meeting.

The regular meeting of the Kiwanis P.M. club was held Wednesday at O’Hungry’s. Kenny Lamb called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence remembering those who lost their life for us 75 years ago at Pearl Harbor. Ann Kent introduced the speaker Keith Lambertson.

Lambertson, a 50-year veteran of driving school buses and training school bus drivers, was thrust into school bus driving as a first-year teacher.

His superintendent came to him after school one day and told him he and another teacher would be going to the nearest test center to be tested for school bus driving. Things have changed in the last 50 years, in those days after you passed the written test, proved you could drive your own car, the rest you learned by trial and error behind the wheel of the school bus. To be a licensed driver now you must take an online class of 14 hours, have a 3-hour face to face class with a certified instructor, pass the driving test, a physical and go thru a background check. Each year after that you must take three hours of re-certification and the instructor takes eight hours.

School buses have also changed over the years. Gone are the metal bars at the top of the seat. For safety the seats are padded and upholstered on top and down the back. You find the seats are closer together, this is done so the if the bus come to a sudden stop the child slides forward into the seat ahead that is padded preventing injuries. The buses are built with an added 8 inches above the axles, with reinforced floors and steel around the lower rim of the entire bus.

Since 1954, there have been only three children killed on a bus in Iowa. It is still the safest way for your child to go to school. The most dangerous areas of the school bus are the surrounding perimeters, Children are carefree not necessarily careful.

The meeting continued with a short business meeting. Martha Edgeton shared a thank you from Y.S.S for the recent donation. Ted Kallestad reminded us the next week will be a board meeting at Pizza Ranch with discussion of moving the meeting location at that time. Joa Laville will be at the meeting to accept a donation to the library. The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 21 at O’Hungry’s there is no speaker planned.