News 4 Investigates: How safe are your kids riding a school bus - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: How safe are your kids riding a school bus

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(KMOV.com) - Each day tens of thousands of St. Louis students ride buses to and from school.

Statistics show these students are actually safer riding the bus than riding in a car.  But they do face dangers, especially in getting on and off the bus.

News 4's Lauren Trager recently rode along with St. Louis County Police Officer Paul Gordon as he drove the streets watching for drivers violating school bus safety laws.

Officer Gordon told Trager the main interest is in making sure the students arrive at their destinations safely.

"You do what you can to educate or enforce the laws that you have to enforce" he says.

Gordon says most drivers do the right thing when they see an officer in the area.

Otherwise, it is often up to the bus driver to gather enough information to prosecute.

In a recent survey, conducted on a single day in 2015 Missouri bus drivers reported nearly 900 cars passing them illegally.

In Missouri in 2015, 84 drivers were charged with failing to stop for a school bus and about 40 percent of those charges were eventually dismissed.

Accidents happen more often than you might think.

Nationally, 67 percent of school-aged pedestrians killed over the last decade in school-transportation-related crashes were hit by a school bus or a vehicle functioning as a school bus.

 Bob Breckle of Jefferson County knows the danger all too well.

His 7-year-old daughter Paige nearly died when she was hit by her own school bus; her pelvic bone was broken and here internal organs were damaged.

"For everything that me and my wife went through," Breckle says, "I would never want anybody to go through this again."

Paige is recovering well, walking again, and back to riding the bus.

Copyright 2015 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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