School bus drivers begin 26th year
Led by Sheila Cazares (left) 1,158,048 miles, these seven Kern County Superintendent of Schools bus drivers have logged 3,101,643 miles without a preventable accident much to the delight of CHP Officer Mike Reed (center).
There were noteworthy examples by which drivers could set their future goals. Veteran school bus driver Sheila Cazares has set a mark that California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Reed thinks could be a record for the state. Cazares begins her 26th year having driven 1,158,048 miles without being involved in a preventable accident. Two of her colleagues, Jane Frando and Julia Hughes have gone their entire 25-year careers without being involved in a preventable accident.
Maintenance, Operations and Transportation Services Administrator Don Fowler pointed out to all the drivers how tough it is to reach the milestones those three have.
"We have had our program in place for 25 years and as drivers you need to remember what that means," Fowler said. "Each driver will cover 30,000-35,000 miles a year. Add up all the years in which drivers have not had an accident and the numbers are just unbelievable. Congratulations to all of you."
Transportation Services Director Paul Linder came up with the unofficial numbers of accident free miles by those honored and the totals were staggering.
"The combined totals are about 4.5 million accident free miles by you drivers," Linder said. "In a year alone, our drivers cover a total of 2.1 million miles transporting children from home to school and back home again. That is more miles than some airlines logged last year," he laughed. "Those Safety Pins we award may seem small in size, but they mean something to all of us. They are proof you are doing the job you need to do."
Awards were given in two categories. CHP Safe Driving Certificates are presented to drivers who have driven at least 100,000 miles without a preventable accident. Transportation Services Safe Driving Pins are awarded on the basis of how many accident-free years drivers have gone without as much as scratching a fender.
School bus driver Landon Langston was the recipient of the first time Kudos Extra Effort Award, which will be awarded every year to one deserving employee in the entire division who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider made the presentation.
"Landon was traveling to Oklahoma on vacation this summer with his family, when their car was involved in an accident that left the car undriveable. But fortunately no one was seriously injured," Reider said. "After making sure his family was alright and taken care of, Landon found a way to get back to Bakersfield so he would not miss his next driving shift. He did it because he knew we were short on drivers and so that other drivers would not have to be called in. Landon, all of us are indebted to you and grateful for your selfless act of loyalty."
2005-06 SAFE DRIVING AWARDS:
CHP Safe Driving Certificates (at least 100,000 preventable accident-free miles)
Sharon Fahmie 101,205
Melissa Martin 111,833
Lynda Graham 127,080
Sylvia Howell 134,627
Melissa Ramay 204,606
Keisha Dean 224,927
Ramona Thomas 231,607
Terri Gamble 238,252
Teresa Clark 242,554
Shirley Wammock 319,305
Rebecca Bowers 329,255
Darlene Wood 336,178
Kenneth Hayen 354,332
Myra Payne 361,971
Sheila Cazares 1,158,048
Transportation Services Safe Driving Pins (accident free years of driving)
La Shun Dickerson
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