BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - All this rainy weather has a direct impact on many school systems. And although Beaufort County did not close their schools Thursday, their bus drivers do have to change how they operate to make sure the kids stay safe.
During rainy weather days like this Beaufort County School District bus drivers pick up their students they know they have precious cargo on board. Which is exactly why when they are driving, they know they have to be extra cautious.
“Once we are loaded at the school we have a little peptalk," said bus driver Maurice Brown. "I say all right kids it’s raining out we have the bad weather day. Keep an eye on what’s going on out there so I can keep y’all safe, get you home, so we can do this all over again tomorrow and they’ll be like, ‘all right Mr. Brown,’ and I’ll be like all right let’s go.“
Maurice Brown has been a bus driver for 23 years.
“We bring them to school, we take them home. These are our kids as soon as they step foot on this bus until we get them back home to their parents.”
He’s an expert in adapting his driving for rain.
“We have to reduce our speed. If the speed limit is 45, we are not gonna go out there and drive 45!”
He knows the dangers associated with rain and school buses.
“Because we are in a larger vehicle and a heavier vehicle, we are more prone to hydroplaning and getting off the road.”
He asks other drivers to be patient, especially on days like Thursday.
“I know other motorist may be a little agitated because we have to drive a lot slower than in normal condition days, but it’s stuff that we have to do to take care of our precious cargo.”
Because to Mr. Brown, driving more carefully is worth it for his kids.
“Today is a new day, I will do my best, I will succeed. And that is a requirement that I have them say every morning before they step foot off this bus.”
And the bus drivers and the county say their main goal at the end of every day is making sure that the children get to school and gets home as safely as possible.