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Youth Opinion : School Bus Commuters: 'I Have Never Felt Unsafe'

October 28, 1995

After the school bus-train collision that killed seven students and injured more than 20in Illinois, LORENZA MUNOZ asked Southern California students if they'd ever been frightened aboard a school bus and whether stricter safety standards are needed .

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ALLISON BRANCHAUD

Sophomore, 15, Fountain Valley High School

I am on the tennis team so we travel a lot to the local schools around my area in our league. Lately, we have been traveling twice a week. It is kind of nerve- wracking to ride the bus and know that you don't have seat belts and there is a stranger driving the bus. You don't know how they drive.

Everything on the bus is so laid back. You can hang out on the aisles or do whatever. Some of the drivers are really at ease about letting you walk around and leave your seat. That is one thing that needs to be enforced. The bus accident is really tragic. It's one more thing that will open our eyes to the precautions that we need to take.

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KARLA VALDEZ

Senior, 17, Venice High School

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I live in Florence (South Central) so I usually wake up around 5:30 a.m. [to get to school on time]. I've never had a bad experience on the bus. One time two years ago, our bus ran into [another] bus but only damaged one of the lights on our bus. Nothing really happened, it was just a bump. Everything is pretty safe. There have been problems sometimes [with kids on the bus] but the driver takes care of that pretty well. Every bus has a couple of kids who cause trouble. I wish my commute wasn't so long. I can't stay after school and do extracurricular activities or try out for sports because I would get home around 8 p.m.

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JOEL SANCHEZ

Junior, 16, El Monte Senior High School

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I travel a lot because I am on the football, baseball and basketball teams. The farthest we have gone is Cerritos. We travel every week for football games. I have never felt unsafe. Not at all. The bus driver tells us where the fire extinguisher and safety exits are. When we ride to the football games we are usually very quiet and thinking about the game. This accident [in Illinois] makes you think that it could happen to you, but I don't really think about [safety].

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