COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — A native of the area is among 13 people who will work on bus safety issues across the state.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced Judith French, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance and a native of Sebring, will serve on his newly formed Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group. 

French joins 12 others in the group that was created following the death of 11-year-old Aiden Clark, who was killed when another vehicle collided with his school bus in Clark County.

“There is always more that can be done when it comes to the safety of children, and I believe we have an obligation to take a holistic look at the safety of our school buses,” said DeWine. “This group’s review will be thorough, focusing on many different aspects of transportation safety.”

The Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group will examine topics including, but not limited to:

  • School bus regulations
  • School bus design, maintenance and inspections
  • Driver licensing, certification and training
  • School bus safety technology
  • Crash risk factors
  • Lessons learned from other school bus crashes
  • Alternative transportation and associated risks
  • School bus seat belts
  • Safety of special populations
  • Critical incident protocol

In addition to French, members of the Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group include: 

  • Andy Wilson (Chair)
    Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety
  • Carolyn Everidge-Frey
    Senior Executive Director, Center for Advancing Professional Supports,
    Ohio Department of Education 
  • Dean Fadel
    President, Ohio Insurance Institute
  • Paul Imhoff
    Director of Government Relations, Buckeye Association of School Administrators
  • Col. Charles Jones
    Superintendent, Ohio State Highway Patrol
  • Jack Marchbanks
    Director, Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Jessica Mead
  • Erin Reed
    Assistant Policy Director, Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
  • David Russell
    School Bus Driver, South Euclid Lyndhurst School District
  • Robert Widener
    President, Ohio School Bus Mechanics Association
  • Chris Woolard
    Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Department of Education 
  • Dr. Jingzhen Yang
    Principal Investigator, Center for Injury Research & Policy, Abigail Wexner Research Institute, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Additional working group members may be added to the group prior to its first public meeting next month. Recommendations are expected to be issued before the end of the year.