Multiple parents have reached out to ABC 27News worried about their kids’ safety while traveling to and from school in the snow.
Many question whether school buses should use automatic tire chains. We checked in with several transportation companies to find out.
“I’ve driven a school bus now for 24 years, and just driving for myself, I’ve never had an issue,” said Lorie Bevans, the vice-president of operations for Reliance Student Transportation.
Bevans says whether a school bus has automatic tire chains depends on whether the district wants them.
“Dallastown has a few buses that do have chains on. Those are the buses that are considered the rural areas where it can cause a problem,” said Bevans.
The chains are used to help increase traction on snow and ice-covered roads.
“Our driver would just have to come to a stop and they would drop the chains, and as they proceed on, it would start to lock around the tire and that would allow the driver to have that traction,” said Bevans.
We reached out to multiple local bus companies and many said the school districts they work with err on the side of caution when it comes to cancellations and delays.
First Student has some vehicles with tire chains and is working to get them installed on all large buses.
Rohrer has a few vehicles with chains but says for the few times they get used, it hasn’t made sense to install them fleet-wide.
Miller and Sons, BOYO Transportations, and E and B Transportation don’t use tire chains.
Krapf, Wolfington, and Durham did not respond to our interview requests.
“If you’re traveling on a road and you’re stuck, you can actually just drop the chains,” said Bevans.
Experts say it costs more than $2,500 to install the chains on each bus.