SuperTalk Mississippi

A Safer Ride to School

JACKSON, Miss. — Each day your children get on a school bus here in Mississippi their lives could be in danger.

“I had a near miss with a school bus accident,” said Katie Beth Simmons, a 9 grad student at East Rankin High.  “And I remember what it felt like to not have that seatbelt around me and be thrown.”

She is now hoping to convince lawmakers to require all new school buses purchased in the state have seatbelts installed. “It would help with our children’s safety; but always with the discipline because they would all be buckled down and it wouldn’t scare the bus driver or anything like that,” she said

Impatient drivers is another danger school bus riders face.  “The minimal of 3,000 times a day, in the state of Mississippi, a stopped school bus is illegally passed,” said Lori Key.  Her 5-year-old-son Nathan was hit and killed by a driver that passed his stopped school bus several years ago.  “(Cameras on school busses) would help us effectively capture those that do choose to pass school busses illegally.”

The stories of Simmons and Key, and others like them have reached the ears of State Rep. Tom Miles, D-Forest.  “The bill that I have proposed… starting in 2015, would require cameras to be put on the new busses for new purchases and also seat belts.”

Miles says the seatbelts would help protect children and improve safety, while the cameras would help in the capture and prosecution of those who pass stopped school busses, endangering the lives of Mississippi children.

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