School Bus Safety Week
Esme Cowles says it was a typical, relaxing Sunday at the park with his daughter Lydia.
But, whenever Mondays roll around, he says another week's worth of worrying begins. His fear: Lydia being involved in a bus accident.
"Every time we hear one of the accidents we wonder if we're going to be next," Cowles says.
The latest crashes on his mind: Last month's crash that killed 13-year-old Frances Schee in Marion County when a tracker-trailer rear-ended her bus.
And the latest: 13-year-old Melissa Tindell was killed, this time in Panama City. Reports say she was waiting at her bus stop when she saw a cat in the road. she tried to rescue it but was hit by a car.
With this latest crash, the victim's family has teamed up with "Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25," an organization designed to lower speed limits in residential areas with many bus stops.
The founder, Tom Everson, says this week is National School Bus Safety Week, and should be a wakeup call to drivers.
"We think of school zones only being that area in and around the school itself, and when we're talking about kids being picked up by a school bus, the school zone is extended out," Everson says.
And it's the high-traffic area around his daughter's stop that has Esme worried.
Lydia's father says he's worried about his daughter's safety because her bus no longer drops her off inside her subdivision but instead drops her off a mile down the road on 34th Street, where cars are zooming by.
"So seven-year-old kids are crossing the street, sometimes the cars don't stop," Cowles says.
"Cars could hit us or something if they weren't looking carefully enough," Lydia Cowles says.
Tom Everson says concerns like these need to be heard not just this week, but every school day to keep young people safe.
For more information about the "Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25" organization, you can go to our website wcjb.com and click on the "links" section.
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