New state bus law meets opposition - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

New state bus law meets opposition

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ALEXANDRIA, la- (KALB News Channel 5) A new state law is on the books and has been in effect since August 1st. Act 654 of the Louisiana legislative session affects the way bus drivers load and unload children.

The law states that bus drivers must now pull over to a shoulder or find a parking lot, if possible, when loading and unloading children. The law prohibits buses from stopping in an active traffic lane. With many parts of central Louisiana having rural roads with little to no shoulders, this could make things challenging for area bus drivers. "We formed a committee to study this and we plan on studying it for a period of time to determine how many route areas are being affected by it," says Clyde Washington, Deputy Superintendent of Administration at the Rapides Parish School Board Office.

Another provision of the law states that children can no longer cross an active lane of traffic at their bus stops. This means that buses will now have to travel on both sides of the street to drop off children. Some area bus drivers believe this will lead to problems. "It's going to cost the parish more money than it's costing us now on gas. It's going to cause my stops," says bus driver Kenneth Bowie Sr. "So it's going to be a bad law," says Bowie.

Washington says the Rapides Parish School Board will determine if extra buses and bus drivers are needed and will determine a funding source for any extra costs that come with the law.

If you want to read the full law it can be found here: Act 654

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