Palm Beach County School District bus drivers speak out after claims of bus overcrowding surface

Some bus drivers say parents are overreacting

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - Bus drivers within the Palm Beach County School District spoke out on Tuesday, defending themselves against claims of bus overcrowding.
"They're overreacting, they're overreacting about it." said Barrington Brown, a Palm Beach County School District bus driver.

Brown, speaking during his break at the district bus depot in Suburban West Palm Beach, runs a line to Palm Beach Lakes High School.

He said when there are too many kids on the bus, he follows district policy and call for a back-up bus.    

"If you overload it and get in an accident and the cop finds more than that (is allowed), it's you, the driver that's responsible,"  said Brown.

Brown and other drives who spoke off camera said if they move with too many kids in their seats, they can lose their license.
He said he the buses can handle up to 84 kids, but he typically drives with 60-to-70 students.

"80% of the drivers have kids and grandkids," said Brown. "They take care of them just like they take care of their babies."

Brown, a father of two kids, also said there are cameras on board watching his every move.

If a kid stands up or is in the aisle, Brown said he first asks them to sit down. If that does not work, he pulls over.

Brown and other drivers have a message for parents who feel buses are too packed.

"Tell the school board to get more buses and more drivers if they think it's not adequate," said Brown.

Brown said he will typically drive with three kids to a seat if they are young and in elementary school. With older kids in higher grades like high school, two students are usually the maximum.

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