Contact 9: School bus stop safety - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: School bus stop safety

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Here is a perfect example of how one simple phone call can make a difference. In this week's Contact 9, Lauren Westbrook shows how an East Baton Rouge parent's concern brought about change almost immediately.

Friday the 13th can strike fear in the superstitious. On that day, a little over a week ago, Tamara Coleman's fears came true down the street from her son's school bus stop.

"When I was backing out of my driveway, I saw nothin' but red lights up there, which was very frightening to me," said Tamara.

Tamara normally texts her 14-year-old son just before 6 a.m. to make sure he gets to his bus stop ok. His bus stop is on Highway 19 near Cunard Street.

On that Friday morning, she never got a response. "Right as he had stepped on the bus, that's when he said the car-they could hear like screechin' noises and that's when the car slammed into the back of the bus."

Tamara shot video on her cell phone when she arrived at the scene of her son's bus accident. She says he hit his head on the back of a seat when the bus was rear ended by a car. He did not have to be treated for injuries. Thankfully, neither did any of the other children.

For Tamara, this accident confirmed her suspicions that the location of the bus stop was not safe.

"This highway is a very very busy highway any time of the day or night. It's always constant traffic there," said Tamara.

After a call to the school board and a conversation with her son's bus driver, Tamara contacted 9. Her suggestion to the district, move the stop to Cunard Street, off the highway.

"I'm very uncomfortable until he is on the bus," she said. WAFB called East Baton Rouge officials. We were told the best route with concerns like hers is to call the Transportation Department directly, which Tamara did not do. Once we did that, the stop was moved immediately to the spot Tamara suggested.

While the district did not go on camera on this issue, they did issue a statement reiterating how important it is to contact the Transportation Department first with any concerns about your child's bus stop. Their number is 225-226-3784.

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