ROCHESTER — The parents of the three children who died crossing the highway to get on their school bus are weighing in on new bus safety legislation announced Thursday morning.
The “Stop for School Buses Act” would launch a two-year investigation across the country to determine the best methods for reducing school bus deaths and injuries.
Changes from the two-year study are expected to go into effect sometime in the next 24 to 36 months.
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski announced the legislation in Rochester Thursday morning.
The parents of Alivia Stahl, Mason and Xzavier Ingle say they are glad to see something being done at a national level.
School bus stop arm cameras have been put on 16 buses in the Rochester school district. The first of many schools to start making school bus safety changes after three children died while crossing a highway.
“Every time we hear about a school making changes, or the buses changing their routes. Everywhere. You know it’s like our kids that are on the front lines making that change,” said Shane and Brittany Ingle.
Walorski got a demonstration of the buses new safety system.
The stop arm cameras resulting in the ticketing of two violators just this past week alone.
“Camera views were very clear," said Don King, transportation director at Rochester Community Schools. "License plates were read very fine...people were confronted with it and were like ‘Oh, yeah that’s me and that’s my car.'"
There are three cameras on each bus.
Walorski introduced a new “Stop for School Buses Act” Thursday morning, so that school bus safety improvements can be evaluated on a national level.
“Literally go across from New York to California, this entire country and do a study,” said Walorski. “What works, what doesn’t, amounts of injuries, amounts of deaths, and across the board, what did they do to comply?”
After studying possible solutions like this one, a bill will be introduced that makes all schools improve school bus safety in every state.
“There should not be a thought in a parent’s mind when they put their child at a bus stop whether they are going to get to school safely and come home safely,” said Walorski.
The parents of the three children who died hope new laws and regulations make more people think twice about running a school bus stop arm.
“Just people need to stop and pay attention," said Shane and Brittany Ingle. "These are our futures getting on that bus. A child’s life is worth everything."
They hope that while they miss their children every day, knowing they are making a difference in other people’s lives helps provide some comfort.
"Like I said, if we could prevent someone else going through this tragedy, like we have to suffer for the rest of our lives, then job well done,” said Shane and Brittany Ingle.
Walorski says the two-year study will provide facts on what's working and what isn't. So then there can eventually be more uniform laws addressing school bus safety issues at the national level.