Cape Girardeau Public Schools look at bus safety

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If you have a small child, the Chattanooga bus crash has put safety at the top of your mind recently.

"Your first reaction is oh my gosh how did that happen?" said Tara Bowers, she's been driving buses in Cape Girardeau for nine years.

Bowers said that you really have to pay attention because it's a bigger vehicle. Especially when driving a bus, on winding roads, Bowers knows extra precautions are needed.

"Our drivers are told to slow down on those roads," said Bowers. "When you have a bus load of students your job is to get them home safely."

Even if all safety precautions are taken and the speed limit is followed, there are still questions about safety on buses including seat belts.

"There's always a debate and it comes up typically after a major event," said Neil Glass, Cape Girardeau assistant superintendent.

However, Glass said the actual design of the bus protects the children it carries.

"Basically if you can imagine an egg carton that's typically the way these bus seats are designed they're designed to hold our students in place in case of an accident."

Bowers agrees, pointing to times when a seat belt could actually cause more problems.

"For one instance, yes, they could be safer but if it is something tragic and they have to immediately evacuate that bus would you technically be able to get every student unlatched," said Bowers. "There could have been other damages to other students on board if they were not able to move freely."

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