COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group reconvened after Tuesday's bus crash that left 18 people injured and six people dead.

Members of the group began their meeting with a moment of silence for the victims of the bus crash. The incident is still under investigation. 

The Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group was originally created by Gov. Mike DeWine after a Clark County bus crash in which an 11-year-old student died. Thursday, group members reconvened to discuss safety protocols.

What You Need To Know

  • The Ohio School Bus Safety Group was created by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine after an 11-year-old student died from a bus crash in Clark County 

  • They discussed how the bus protocols work, regulations and people presented to the group

  • The group continues to meet to address school bus safety concerns

School bus safety officials, drivers and transportation managers say training is critical for drivers. They mentioned drivers must review the codes and regulations and having at least have 12 hours behind the wheel. During the discussions, the group heard from people in the crowd about ways Ohio can become a leader in school bus safety, and what the state can learn from the rest of the country. 

Doug Palmer, senior transportation consultant with Ohio School Boards Association, discussed bringing enhanced driving sessions. These sessions, in Palmer’s opinion, could help teach bus drivers student management skills and ways the drivers can operate in an unsafe environment in case of a crash. This could be ways to stay in their own lane while traveling on busy streets as well as what bus driver should do in high crisis situations.

“I really think that since we have such a good basis for a foundation,” Palmer said. “I think it’s time that we have an enhanced driver training through our pre-service instructors have six modules and they have to go through that module.”

Palmer also compared Ohio to other states, such as Michigan, with how they train their school bus drivers.

However, other professionals who spoke to the group say every school district operates in its own way, especially when they conduct their four hours of in-house training. The group mentioned how some school districts could play educational videos, and others might have hands on training with teaching how fire extinguishers and other bus safety materials work. 

The group did not mention whether it would monitor charter buses in the near future. The group brought up school bus safety throughout the entire meeting.