School Bus Safety

It’s any parent’s nightmare: sending your child off to school and learning that you’ve lost your child in an accident as they were getting off the school bus.
It’s hard to image, but it happened to one Mississippi mother and now she’s turning her pain into a message as an advocate for transportation safety.
News 25’s Katarina Luketich shares this moving story.
It’s been almost seven years since Lori McJohnson lost her then five-year-old son Nathan when a driver pulled around his bus, striking him. Just the thought of that tragic day on December 11th, 2009 still moves her to tears. “I knew that we had to do something to try to change.”
So now she tours the state speaking to bus drivers like the ones she spoke to this morning from the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. She hopes we can all come together to make sure what happened to her family does not happen to anyone else.
Assisting state Senator Chris McDaniel, Nathan’s parents were able to help pass Nathan’s law to help bolster safety when it comes to driving around buses. While the law has many parts, one of its main provisions makes it a criminal offense to pass a bus as children are loading and unloading. If you strike a child, it is an automatic felony.
It’s something that happens more often than you think and although all instances don’t end in tragedy like Nathan’s story, bus drivers tell News 25 every day they see drivers disregard stop signs and pass school buses. Bus driver Rachel Rushing said, “Your heart just stops because your first reaction is you want to get out and stop that driver and let them know that even if they don’t see kids crossing, they need to stop.”
The most important message McJohnson wants to drive home: “Stop for the bus. Allow these children the opportunity to make it home safe.”

Categories: Local News, News

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