School bus accidents are devastating, especially when they involve children. In Lakeland, Florida, a tragic school bus accident occurred in 2023, leaving two young girls dead and several others injured. The accident sparked a conversation about school bus safety in Lakeland and what could be done to prevent similar tragedies in the future. However, according to the families of the victims, not enough has been done to make Lakeland school bus stops safer since the accident.
The Accident and Its Aftermath
The accident occurred on March 26, 2023, when a car ran a stop sign and collided with a school bus carrying 27 students. Two young girls, 12-year-old Gisselle Montano, and 13-year-old Alexis Pachecho, were killed in the accident, and several other students were injured. The accident was a wake-up call for the Lakeland community, and many called for action to improve school bus safety measures.
After the accident, the Polk County School Board and local government officials took steps to improve school bus safety measures in Lakeland. They implemented new policies and procedures, including mandatory safety training for bus drivers, more thorough background checks for drivers, and the installation of new technology on buses to monitor speed and driver behavior.
The Concerns of the Families
Despite the measures taken by the authorities, the families of the victims feel that not enough has been done to make school bus stops safer in Lakeland. They express concerns about the lack of physical barriers to prevent cars from running into buses, insufficient lighting at bus stops, and inadequate supervision of students at stops. They also argue that the new measures implemented after the accident are not enough to prevent future accidents.
In an interview with a local news outlet, one of the victim’s mothers said, “We need more barriers, more lighting, more supervisors. We need to make sure our kids are safe when they are waiting for the bus.”
The State of School Bus Safety in Lakeland
According to a report by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, Florida ranks 32nd in the nation for school bus safety. The report found that Florida has a higher rate of school bus-related fatalities and injuries than many other states.
In Lakeland, school bus safety measures include mandatory safety training for drivers, background checks, and the installation of technology to monitor driver behavior. However, physical barriers and increased supervision at bus stops are not currently in place.
The Role of the Authorities
The Polk County School Board and local government officials have a responsibility to ensure the safety of students who use school buses. After the 2018 accident, they took action to improve school bus safety measures in Lakeland, but the families of the victims argue that more needs to be done.
The authorities have also faced criticism for their response to the families’ concerns. According to a local news report, the families have felt ignored and have not received clear answers about what is being done to address their concerns. The authorities need to communicate more effectively with the families and the community to address their concerns and improve school bus safety in Lakeland.
The Importance of School Bus Safety
School bus safety is not just important for the families of the victims in Lakeland. It is crucial for the safety of all students who use school buses. School buses are designed to be one of the safest modes of transportation, but accidents can still happen.
The safety of school buses is dependent on multiple factors, including the design of the bus, the behavior of the driver, and the safety measures in place at bus stops. It is essential to continuously evaluate and improve these factors to ensure the safety of students who use school buses.
The families of the victims in the Lakeland school bus accident feel that not enough has been done to improve school bus safety in the city since the accident. They have been calling for increased safety measures at bus stops to ensure the safety of students.
Improving school bus safety is crucial for the safety of all students who use school buses. Potential solutions to improve school bus safety in Lakeland include the installation of physical barriers, increased lighting, additional supervision, and education and awareness campaigns.