School Bus Drivers Brave the Winter Weather - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

School Bus Drivers Brave the Winter Weather

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YAKIMA, WA.- Imagine if you had to maneuver 10,000 pounds of equipment through the snow and ice, and on top of that make sure your dozens of passengers stay safe. Well that's what school bus drivers deal with on a regular basis.


We sat down with Dorothy Glaspie Tuesday afternoon, she's been driving school buses for 15 years and she told us she's no stranger to dealing with the elements, "You see everything when you're out there, bad drivers, bad weather, everything."


However this morning was exceptionally bad, in her 15 years she's only had to put chains on her bus one time, but today called for some extreme weather prepping.  

"It was really loud and bumpy and noisy and the kids kept saying what's wrong with the bus is it going to fall apart and I was like no no it's just the chains," Dorothy laughed.


On days like these drivers are up at 4 a.m. testing out the roads and giving their feedback to the district. Today Yakima schools only issued a two hour delay, but drivers say without those chains on their tires things could have played out differently.  


"Buses would have been sliding everywhere with no traction it's not a good thing," Toby Shadwick, a driver with the Yakima School District said, "Some people say having chains on ice is like having ice skates, but I beg to differ, they give you the traction you need."


Luckily the district didn't see any accidents Tuesday morning and they say it was good practice for all of their new drivers.


Even so, with all of Dorothy's experience she says driving in harsh conditions is a responsibility she doesn't take lightly, "I take it very seriously, but I feel very good at my job, and take my time, and we get it done. It took us longer today, but we got the kids there and they were safe and sound."


Drivers were able to take their chains off of the buses by mid afternoon after temperatures warmed up.