State And Regional

Ohio’s school bus safety task force to hold 2nd public meeting today

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s new School Bus Safety Task Force will have its second public meeting.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Student killed, over 20 other students injured after school bus crash in Clark Co.

It comes nearly 5 weeks after a deadly school bus crash in Clark County.

News Center 7′s Malik Patterson says this is the second of five meetings planned for the task force and their goal is to take a holistic look at school bus safety.

The task force will not create new laws, but it will offer recommendations that could make changes to school bus safety.

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The task force is made up of 14 people and led by Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson, former Clark County Prosecutor.

It also includes cabinet positions at the state level, a bus mechanic from Greenville City Schools, and a doctor from Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

The task force was formed after Aiden Clark, a Northwestern Local Schools student was killed in a school bus crash last month in German Township.

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Patterson says the task force will not have the power to mandate any changes, but Governor Mike DeWine has said there should be serious consideration of the recommendations they come back with at the end of the year.

“We have an obligation I think to say to the public, ‘We are doing everything we can to make that school bus trip as safe as possible,’” he said at the first task force meeting earlier this month.

News Center 7 previously reported that when the task force was created, it did some hands-on learning and saw how state troopers inspect the more than 19,000 school busses in the state twice a year.

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Patterson reports that school bus safety has been talked about for decades, but DeWine said this task force was spurred by August’s deadly school bus crash.

“We know statistically that school buses are a lot safer than putting your child in a car. That is just statistically true,” he said earlier this month. “But that is not any kind of solace or consolation to the families from Clark County who had children on that bus, who lost a child, who had a child injured.”

After the public meetings end, the task force will come up with a report to both the governor and state lawmakers in December.

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