Who is Driving Your Children? School bus safety in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Who is Driving Your Children? School bus safety in Iowa

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(KWWL) -

The Tennessee bus crash is just one of many bus accidents happening around the nation within the last month. These tragic stories hit close to home for any parent or guardian, and raises a question: Who really is driving our children?

Johnthony Walker, 24, is in custody on charges of vehicular homicide, according to police. He is accused of driving recklessly and speeding, killing five children and injuring many more.

Schools in eastern Iowa want to reassure parents that they are doing all the necessary checks and steps to make sure your child is safe.

In Hudson, Iowa, this story is deeply affecting bus driver Joel Larsen.

He says, "The name of the game is to pick them up, take them to school, and take them home safely."

Larsen has been driving school buses for at least five years, and he is also the Director of Transportation in Hudson and in North Tama. He takes safety very seriously, so does Superintendent Dr. Anthony Voss, who's in charge of the hiring process. He says it goes beyond qualifications and background checks.

Voss says, "There's a detailed training program that our drivers have to go through annually, a process they go through in order to get their license to drive for us, and they are subjected to random drug tests."

After such a tragic situation in Tennessee, Larsen and Voss want parents in eastern Iowa to know who is behind the wheel with their children.

"What we are asking them (bus drivers) to do is really one of the most important things we do in our school district, which is making sure our kids get to-and- from school safely," says Voss. 

Larsen also says he believes all school buses should have seat-belts. Right now, only six states require them.

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