(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) While the recent school bus tragedy has raised questions about drivers' responsibilities and their callous behaviour while on duty, some drivers say that it's wrong to generalise.
''I have been driving a school bus for a decade, and my vehicle has never been involved in any accident,'' said Abdullah Saif.
Khalid al Amri, who entered the profession a year ago says he faces no problems transporting schoolchildren.
''There are hardly any problems. Students often cooperate well. As a precaution, I have an assistant to look after students boarding and alighting from the bus. Some students sometimes stick their heads and hands out and I have been careful to correct them,'' Amri said.
Talking about difficulties that drivers can face, he said that the noise made by schoolchildren on the bus can be a distraction. Amri, however, said that he has learned how to cope with this and drive safely.
Naveed al Belushi, a school bus driver for 15 years, said that most drivers are careful for they know they are responsible for the safety of the bus occupants. ''Mine has, thankfully, been so far an incident-free stint. We drivers are careful as we are aware that there are children on the bus,'' Belushi said.
However, some drivers agreed that not everyone in the profession is reliable. ''There are some who come to work drunk or are under the influence of psychotropic drugs. I have brought this issue to the attention of authorities and I'm not sure if any action has been initiated,'' said Saleh Khalfan, who has been transporting students for seven years.
Wilson K J, a bus operator for two decades and who employs seven drivers said, ''So far, my drivers have not been involved in any accident. This shows that they do their jobs responsibly.'' He added that though there was a shortage of drivers to drive 30-seater buses, his buses never operated beyond capacity.
Rajiv, another bus operator agreed that not all buses have seat belts and even if some did, many drivers did not ensure that the children were strapp