CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Kanawha County Schools Transportation officials kicked off National School Bus Safety Week by highlighting the different safety features their fleet has.

School bus drivers today tell us the toughest part about their job is getting children both on and off the bus safely. More than 25 million children nationwide each day rely on buses to get them to their locations.

Kanawha County Schools is working on including an app that can track when students get on and off the bus. They also have now installed ‘angel lights’ that help students see the road as they cross the street in the dark, and are educating students on emergency exits.

Some bus drivers say being responsible for multiple children isn’t an easy task, and that’s why they’re always reminding the public of school bus safety. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cars run my red lights and kids actually be out in the road getting ready to cross the road. I mean we’ve had some really close calls of students getting hit. I’ve had drivers never even acknowledge us there,” said Mary Slate, a supervisor for St. Albans Bus Terminal.

During a one-day survey, more than 51,000 cars illegally passed school buses on a single day nationwide during the 2021-22 school year.

Kanawha County School Officials tell us there have been very minor incidents so far this year with school buses, however, they are facing other challenges like a shortage of drivers. They are urging extra patience, especially when you see the red lights flashing and the stop signs come out.