Dutchess County school bus driver of the year
An Arlington district woman who's all about getting your kids home safe, wins the Dutchess County school bus driver of the year award. Our John Wagner rode along with the award winner and with state police, who say if the wheels on the bus stop going round, yours should too.
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DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- In 25 years, Dina Treadwell saved a number of students from close calls with drivers.
"The only thing they think of is, I'm late or I'm stuck behind a bus," said Treadwell. "We don't like you being stuck behind us."
And we've all been there before.
"It takes one minute to sit there and wait for that child to go across," said Treadwell. "Is one minute going to make that much of a difference? It can devastate everyone."
Drivers in both directions must stop, even on a divided highway any time those red lights start flashing. Fines range from two-hundred and fifty to one thousand dollars and up to five points on a license. You could get caught, even if police aren't around.
"School bus drivers have been very good about documenting license plates, getting vehicle information and times, and we have been able to prosecute based on that," said Trooper Ron Cardis, who's worked with the State Police for eighteen years.
Even if kids make it to the driveway, the lights not green until it's not red.
"They don't realize my red lights are on for a reason," explained Treadwell. "Because this child for whatever reason may come back, because they forgot a sweater, they forgot their iPod."
For seven hours behind the wheel each day, she takes on the role of a friend, a guidance counselor, and a mother to forty rambunctious kids."
"We're parents on the bus," said Treadwell. "We watch over them to make sure they get to school safe, we protect them if someone else is bothering another student."
Accident free since she began in '77, Treadwell is the Dutchess County school bus driver of the year.
"I just love driving," said Treadwell. "There's only one thing I don't like about this job--four o'clock in the morning comes very quick."