School Bus Safety

By Kate Gaier
5:30 pm November 7, 2006

Dennis Cain is the Director of Operations for Thomas County Schools. He says last week’s bus accident that sent several children to the hospital is rare, and he has a few ideas why new research is showing school bus-related injuries are up.

"We keep up with more incidents then we have in the past. I'm not sure that accidents are up from what' they've always been. I think they've always been minor," said Cain.

Research shows one fourth the accidents happened while children were getting on or off the bus, and that's not all. Data shows crashes account for 42 percent of the injuries.

Some residents believe it's not the bus that is the problem, but other drivers on the road.

Chineta Nixons said, "I think drivers don't respect buses and when the stop sign comes out, people usually go around it, and that's not safe for the kids crossing the road."

Researchers in the study say the results support the argument that buses need seat belts.

Charles Ivey said, "It'd be more safe for the children, you know, because now-a-days you got buses flipping over and stuff like that."

Another resident weighs in on bus safety saying.

"I think all of them should have seat belts and they need to have the cameras on the bus and have more qualified drivers."

Cain says Thomas County drivers get retested every year to ensure passengers make it to their destination safely. Officials say most students in the Thomasville City School System walk to classes, and buses are rarely used.