COLUMBUS — The Ohio School Bus Safety Task Force will hold its final meeting in Columbus today.
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After that, they will send its final recommendations to state leaders next month.
Xavier Hershovitz is previewing today’s school bus task force meeting from a school bus barn in Greene County now on News Center 7′s Daybreak.
Today’s meeting will include a panel of people who work on these buses every day.
The school bus task force was formed following a deadly school bus crash in Clark County that killed 11-year-old Aiden Clark.
>>RELATED: Student killed, over 20 other students injured after school bus crash in Clark Co.
The task force has spent the last several months trying to find ways to make school buses safer for students across the state.
Hershovitz says today’s meeting will include a conversation with bus drivers, aides, and transportation managers.
In their last meeting, they spent time talking with the manufacturers of these school buses.
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Over the last several months, they have spent a lot of time on the use of seat belts on buses.
One Ohio school leader previously shared the trouble young students had with bus seat belts.
“We had two instances where our bus drivers had to pull the bus over to the side of the road because the zipper was stuck,” said Joelle Magyar, Avon Lake City Schools Superintendent. “In one particular case with our little guys, the bus driver could not get that unstuck and literally had to rip her backpack.”
The task force has until the end of the year to send their recommendations to both Governor and state leaders.
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Hershovitz reports that ODOT has already made some changes in the wake of the Clark County school bus crash.
A parent who had a student on the bus in that deadly August school bus crash reached out to area leaders about adding rumble strips to State Route 41 in Clark County.
News Center 7 reported on Monday that ODOT crews added rumble strips to the center of a five-mile stretch of State Route 41.
Part of the reason ODOT was able to move quickly on this was because they had already had other planned rumble strip additions. But also, Governor DeWine heard this parent’s plea.
“Once the governor heard, (he) was very interested in making sure we could do it and if we could do it, that we did,” Matt Bruning of ODOT told News Center 7. “Governor DeWine has been very focused on safety, traffic safety since he took office.
>>I-TEAM: Changes coming for school buses – Thursday at 5pm on News Center 7
Hershovitz reports that according to ODOT, federal data shows there is about a 40 to 60 percent reduction in left-of-center crashes where rumble strips are used.
The final school bus safety task force meeting begins at 1 p.m. in Columbus.
News Center 7 will have full coverage of this final task force meeting starting today at 5 p.m.
Also, we are investigating the changes that could come from Ohio’s school bus safety task force to help keep kids safe on the road.
John Bedell leads this I-Team Investigation Thursday on News Center 7 beginning at 5 PM.
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