JACKSON, Miss. — It started out like any other day, Katie Simmons walked on to her bus, on her way to school as she normally does. Before getting there, a car in front of the bus unexpectedly stopped.
“And all of a sudden the bus came to a really fast stop and it kind of threw us all forward,” explained the 9th grader from Leake County.
Fortunately no one was hurt… but for Simmons it was an eye opener. “I suddenly realized, you know, if we actually have a wreck, where are we gonna go?”
So Simmons got busy selling t-shirts to buy seatbelts for school buses in her district. “But I also thought about all the other kids, what if they have wrecks.” So Simmons got on the horn with state lawmakers. “I talked to (House Transportation Committee Chair Robert) Johnson.”
And Tuesday, in a state capitol hearing room, Simmons was among several people to testify before Johnson and other Transportation Committee members about installing seatbelts on school buses.
AUDIO: News Mississippi Reports on bus safety belts and asks what you think:
“Today is step one, to open the conversation and see if there is support for this across the state,” said State Rep. Tom Miles, D-Forest. “We may not be able to do it overnight, but if we can do it in a responsible way, and maybe work toward getting it done for the future of our kids to keep them safe.”