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School bus drivers get special training

BUS Eireann is to begin training 3,800 contract drivers who work on school routes across the country.

At the moment school bus drivers receive no special training.

The new training programme will begin in the coming months and will teach the drivers improved 'defensive driving techniques' as well as accident prevention skills.

It comes almost two years after the bus crash in Kentstown, Co Meath in which five young students died.

The new training was ordered by the Department of Education, which pays ?120m annually to Bus Eireann to operate the bus routes. A total of 80pc of all routes across the country are then contracted out to private operators.

"The objective of this training is to implement an advanced driver training programme for contractor drivers involved in the provision of school bus services," said a tender document for the training programme.

"It also includes bringing each participant to a skills level such that he/she will be capable of taking and passing an advanced driving test."

Bus Eireann employ 2,700 staff in 20 locations.

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