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Recent School Bus Accident Reminds Local Bus Company On Importance Of Bus Safety

A recent school bus accident, in Kansas, reminds school districts on importance of practicing school bus safety.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Drew Lollar is the Safety Director for Apple Bus Company in St. Joseph.

He says any time bus accidents make headlines like this one Thursday in Northeast Kansas - it becomes a teaching experience for his drivers.

"Try to teach and develop our drivers more and more. You know, it's just an important thing to do," said Drew Lollar.

Drivers are required to attend meetings where they review safety behind the wheel.

Those filling seats also train on what to do in case of an emergency.

"They go over all the emergency exits. They practice different scenarios, fires, water, types of evacuations, that type of thing, to make sure they're well prepared if something, the unlikely incidents, in case something happens," said Lollar.

That training takes place twice a year -- something Lake Contrary Elementary Principal, and mom, Jasmine Briedwell says is a must.

When serious accidents happen elsewhere, she's grateful students locally have an idea of what they should do if it happened here.

"It draws new attention that this is real. We have a purpose for practicing bus safety. We have a purpose for behaving and having bus expectations all year long. They keep us safe, they keep our friends safe," said Briedwell.

Briedwell and Lollar agree, while drills might not prevent accidents, they can at least prepare students and drivers for a worst case scenario.

"I hope people can learn from it and realize that these evacuation drills that we do are a very important part of the industry, and a very important part of the school year and school safety," said Lollar.

The St. Joseph School District holds bus evacuation drills in the spring and fall.

In Missouri, students in grades k-12, are required to participate in the bus evacuations.

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