Richmond students practice bus safety

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This week, all the students from Richmond Public Schools are participating in school bus emergency evacuation drills. It's a plan in place, and practiced several times a year, that can help in any type of emergency.

It's accidents like the one that happened in Dinwiddie, where a bus flipped on its side with students on board, that the Richmond School System is trying to get everyone prepared for.

Although nothing as serious as this happened in Richmond this year so far, small fender benders have and parent Karen Franklin are glad their children are prepared.

"In an emergency, sometimes your brain shuts down and you don't know what to do," says Karen Franklin. "So, if you practice something you might go into automatic mode and just do what you need to do."

This training is done twice a year, whether it be getting off the bus through the front doors, or from the emergency exit in the back of the bus, students often need a refresher on how to react to an accident.

"Preparation like a great football team. They practice, practice, practice. We want to do the same thing. Instill that same mentality into our students to keep them safe," says Richmond Transportation Director Vincent Ashley.

This comes in the midst of a winter where we've seen snow storm after snow storm, buses maneuvering down icy roads, and even through the snow. What may seen like yet another drill for some kids, is important to many involved, including dad's and mom's.

"You don't know. With kids on the bus, they're talking, laughing and they are not paying attention," says Franklin.

But it's drill like this, and scenes like that get the attention of many. By the end of the week, all of the students will know what do in an emergency, either on the way to school or on the way home.

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