Governor DeWine announces members of Ohio school bus safety working group

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 11:27 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced 13 individuals who will serve on his newly formed Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group.

Governor DeWine announced the creation of the working group last week following the death of 11-year-old Aiden Clark, a Northwestern Local School District student who was killed when another vehicle collided with his school bus in Clark County.

“There is always more that can be done when it comes to the safety of children, and I believe we have an obligation to take a holistic look at the safety of our school buses,” said Governor DeWine. “This group’s review will be thorough, focusing on many different aspects of transportation safety.”

The Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group will examine topics including, but not limited to:

  • School bus regulations
  • School bus design, maintenance, and inspections
  • Driver licensing, certification, and training
  • School bus safety technology
  • Crash risk factors
  • Lessons learned from other school bus crashes
  • Alternative transportation and associated risks
  • School bus seat belts
  • Safety of special populations
  • Critical incident protocol

Members of the Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group include:

  • Andy Wilson (Chair)Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety
  • Carolyn Everidge-FreySenior Executive Director, Center for Advancing Professional Supports,Ohio Department of Education
  • Dean FadelPresident, Ohio Insurance Institute
  • Judith FrenchDirector, Ohio Department of Insurance
  • Paul ImhoffDirector of Government Relations, Buckeye Association of School Administrators
  • Col. Charles JonesSuperintendent, Ohio State Highway Patrol
  • Jack MarchbanksDirector, Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Jessica MeadParent
  • Erin ReedAssistant Policy Director, Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
  • David RussellSchool Bus Driver, South Euclid Lyndhurst School District
  • Robert WidenerPresident, Ohio School Bus Mechanics Association
  • Chris WoolardOhio Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Department of Education
  • Jingzhen Yang, MPH, PhDPrincipal Investigator, Center for Injury Research & Policy, Abigail Wexner Research Institute, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Additional working group members may be added to the group prior to its first public meeting next month. Recommendations are expected to be issued before the end of the year.