New bus laws causing concern for parents - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

New bus laws causing concern for parents

Some parents are concerned about the new school bus laws in Louisiana, citing that it will take longer for their children to get home. Some parents are concerned about the new school bus laws in Louisiana, citing that it will take longer for their children to get home.
DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - New bus laws in Louisiana are expected to mean not only spending more time on the road, but also more money. Some children's ride home from school could soon take a little longer than before.

For those living in rural areas, the new bus laws would mean more time spent getting home from school, and parents aren't exactly thrilled about the news.

The new law is dedicated to preventing tragedies, but some believe it will only create more work and will cost more to implement.

"It doesn't seem necessary. If the parent walks the child out to the bus stop and the parents are aware of the child, I don't feel that the bus needs to go around and around to pick the child up," parent Brandie Sharpley said.

After 6-year-old Shaud Wilson was killed in New Orleans while crossing the street to get to his school bus stop in February, state law makers were pushed to make a change. The new laws went into effect this summer, but school officials are saying the changes could cost them.

"Right now we enter and exit about 80 percent of our students out in front of their home, but if we have to add that extra 20 percent, that could also increase the cost of our transportation department by that same amount," said Cade Brumley, DeSoto Parish superintendent.

Sharpley has an 8-year-old who attends school in the DeSoto Parish school district and says she understands what the state is trying to do, but it just seems like more of a hassle.

"Driving around and around, it's just going to be more time for them to be on the bus," Sharpley said.

The state believes there is a method to the madness. The new law states that buses must pull out of a traffic lane and onto a shoulder or parking lot to let children on and off. This is a method that the state believes would better keep children out of harm's way.

"When the bus comes and the arm comes out, he knows to wait for the bus to motion him across the road," Sharpley said.

Despite the pleas, the attorney general's office is giving districts a year to implement the changes.

Those against the changes say that the new bus laws don't take into account urban settings and other areas that aren't ideal for pulling off of the street without making a full turn around, especially in areas that are under construction.

DeSoto Parish Schools have some kinks to work out, but they plan to be in full compliance by the close of this school year.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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