Kennett bus drivers risk lives for students

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - Bus drivers in the Kennett School District are putting their lives on the line for their precious cargo.

Parents are praising the district for going beyond the call of duty by keeping their children safe at bus stops.

The bus drivers have taken a new safety approach while picking up and dropping students off.

It is a simple move, according to bus drivers William Finney and Ricky Thompson.

The drivers occupy two lanes at pick up and drop off locations. They use their buses as shields by stopping and slanting the vehicles so that they are blocking both lanes of traffic.

"We do it because no oncoming traffic or traffic going around us can get to our babies," Finney said. "We just block the road."

Finney said they started doing this after noticing distracted drivers, especially at intersections.

"Sometimes people are busy, texting and talking, they seem to have busy lives," Finney said. "We block it so our kids can get on the road."

Some drivers have even tried passing through the flashing lights and stop signs.

"These buses are really reinforced, they are really strong," Finney said. "They are padded. They are built like armor tanks. It's going to be us and the bus."

Finney and Thompson both said at an intersection the buses block each direction so a vehicle can't get to the child. If someone attempts to go through the bus stop, Finney said the driver takes the hit before the kids.

They said that is their job to protect each kid on the bus.

"Those kids are our number one priority," Thompson said. "We've got to take care of them until we get them home. That's why we block the roads."

"We have got to do what they would do for their kids," Finney said. "That's put your life down for them if need be."

Finney and Thompson said this is something they will continue to do.

They said any school district who does not do this, should.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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