Madison County School District prepares buses for winter travel

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - When the temperature drops, it usually takes us a little bit longer to get ready.  For most of us, the biggest hassle is warming up our vehicles.

That's not something the Madison County School District takes lightly. The district's mechanics are racking up quite a bit of overtime in order to keep our kids safe.

"Children don't need to stand out for fifteen to twenty minutes in this cold weather.  So, we've asked our bus drivers to be cognizant of children standing on the porch and standing at the door," said director of auxiliary services, Dan Evans.

Bus drivers have been told to go a little slower, wait a little longer, and be more patient.  The district told WHNT News 19 it has already completed its cold weather preventive maintenance on all the school buses.

"We also have our mechanics out early on in these mornings.  We don't want kids waiting for a bus that's going to be twenty minutes late," explained Evans.

During this time of year there is a crew that arrives at three in the morning.  They actually start the buses two to three hours before they need to leave.  If a bus doesn't crank up, the district has it covered.

"We have 50 back up buses, every school has one or two.  So, if the driver has a bus that doesn't start, they go over and get on a spare and so there's no hold up," Evans said.

The district plans to stick to its normal busing schedule.  However, there could be some delays as children may take longer to get on the bus.

"Parents have to understand we treat these children just like they're our own.  We want it to be that when they get to school they are ready to learn, and they're not going to be that way if they're freezing to death or whatever," Evans said.

The district currently has more than two hundred buses that transport daily.