‘A great honor;’ Area mechanic joins Ohio’s new school bus safety task force

DARKE COUNTY — A Miami Valley school bus mechanic will help take a new look at the safety of our kids on buses.

Rob Widener is on Ohio’s new bus safety task force.

>> RELATED: DeWine announces members of school bus safety task force

Governor Mike DeWine announced the creation of the Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group last week following the death of 11-year-old Aiden Clark, who was killed in a crash involving a school bus in Clark County. More than 20 children on that bus were injured.

Widener has been a school bus mechanic for more than 31 years, the last 27 being with Greenville City Schools.

He is also the president of the Ohio School Bus Mechanics Association and has been a firefighter for more than 35 years.

He’s currently the fire chief in the Village of Rossburg in Darke County.

>> Local state representatives react to creation of school bus safety task force

DeWine is tapping into Widener’s decades of experience for his new school bus safety task force.

Widener told News Center 7 that he got the call asking to serve Tuesday, he agreed, and on Wednesday morning it was official.

“I thought it was a great honor to be asked to serve in this position,” Widener said.

He will be one of 14 people on the new task force to start.

They’ll hold five public hearings and then submit a report with recommendations to the governor and state lawmakers in December.

Widener says he appreciates being invited to be a part of the group that will take a holistic look at school bus safety in Ohio.

“Just seeing what’s out there. Maybe somebody’s come up with a new idea or look at some older ideas that’s not been thought of for a while. As a mechanic not sitting in some of these meetings with supervisors and things like that where other people has hashed them or come up with them or bring them to light. Or with new technology coming out and something’s come up that maybe we need to revisit,” he said.

While they will not have the power to mandate changes, News Center 7 will provide updates on the recommendations they come up with and what DeWine and state lawmakers decide to do with them.

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