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'It can be very distracting with all the shouting and bellowing'.

A 65-YEAR-OLD bus driver who takes children to and from schools in Cardiff said he has been forced to pull over to tell kids to behave before he has been able to drive on safely.

The driver, who has been doing school runs for three years and asked not to be named, said the main problem was a small minority who do not wear seatbelts and move around.

"Sometimes it can be very distracting with all the shouting and bellowing," he said.

"You try to ignore it, you try to concentrate on your driving.

"There's only so far you can go if they really kick off, you pull in and say 'until you behave yourself we won't pull off'.

"They're supposed to put seatbelts on. You check, but you go five yards and they're off again.

"You're trying to tell them 'you wouldn't do that if you were sitting in you parents' car, your mother or father would tell you off'. Some of them don't listen."

He said it was rare he had to stop the bus because of safety concerns, but he knew other bus drivers have had to do the same on occasions.

He said the level of bad behaviour tended to vary between schools. The children he currently transports are reasonably well-behaved, he said, but when driving a different school bus previously he had been shocked by the bad language, from both the boys and girls.

The driver said it would be useful to have escorts on buses, so there was someone keeping an eye on behaviour leaving him free to concentrate on driving.

He said he had a few techniques for keeping pupils in line.

"They like the radio on and they like the radio station Kiss, so I put that on for them," he said.

"If they don't behave, I turn it off or I put Radio 2 on.

The driver said, despite a few troublemakers, most of the children he transports are well behaved.

"Most of them are really excellent, good as gold, really polite," he said.

He added that the reporting systems in place worked well.

Teachers are always willing to board the bus before it sets off at the end of a school day to give pupils a stern talking to about their behaviour if there have been problems, and other pupils on the bus are also willing to tell troublemakers off.
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 27, 2010
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