CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - With the pandemic, Cape Girardeau school buses are carrying fewer students on each trip and bus drivers are spending more time on the road and driving longer routes.
That could increase the chance for more school bus-related accidents.
Marissa Burton is sending her four-year-old son to ride the bus for the first time this year. She said she’s concerned for drivers not stopping for buses while they load and unload students.
“When people get out of school there’s a lot of teenagers that are texting and driving and people will pass the bus a lot even when kids are trying to get off,” Burton said.
Sergeant Clark Parrott with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said last year, there were just over a thousand traffic crashes involving school buses, injuring 471 people.
That’s more than in 2018. He also said most accidents didn’t happen on main roads.
“From our statistics a couple years back, it’s in our rural areas on curvy hills,” Parrott said.
Robinson Transport Manager, Tara Bowers said her buses in Cape Girardeau only had a couple of wrecks last year.
She said she hopes people will drive more carefully around buses to reduce accidents.
“Remember if you need to leave a few minutes earlier to avoid the school bus cause they will be stopping,” Bowers said.
Parrott also encourages people to slow down when buses are present.
“Starting Monday morning about 6 o’clock be aware that the yellow buses are going to be out and give them plenty of room to get the kids to and from school in a safe manner,” Parrott said.
Most schools in the Heartland are set to start classes on Monday.