LAFAYETTE — Lafayette High has restricted non-bus traffic on the campus after dismissal until all buses depart the campus in the afternoon following last week’s bus accident that injured a bus rider, Lafayette Parish school system officials said Friday.
“We’re holding everybody in place until the buses are off the campus,” said Bill Samec, the district’s transportation director.
On Sept. 20, a Lafayette High student running to catch her bus was struck by a vehicle as it attempted to leave the campus’ front driveway that faces Congress Street.
The student’s pelvis was fractured in the incident, authorities have said.
In reviewing the accident, Samec said he and the school’s administrators identified other areas that could be “tightened up” — such as the bus loading zone between the main campus and the student parking area.
“We made a couple of changes in the way the students walk to and from the parking areas,” Samec said.
“They’re being held back until the buses leave so we don’t have pedestrian traffic around the buses when the buses are leaving.”
Samec clarified that bus protocols were not “terrible at Lafayette High to begin with,” but administration did identify ways to improve safety for students.
“We tightened up procedures that were already in place,” Samec said.
Samec said 38 buses serve the school and on-duty teachers stationed at on-street exits at Foreman Drive and Congress Street will help ensure that buses do not leave the campus until seven minutes after the last dismissal bell, which is a current policy.
Samec said review of bus safety is an ongoing exercise throughout the school year.
The school system is examining a fix to traffic congestion at Truman Montessori School, the district’s preschool-only campus located in a neighborhood with narrow streets, Samec said.
“This is an ongoing process,” Samec said. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t do something safety-related. That’s paramount to everything we do.”