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Mother who lost her daughter to school bus accident pushes for new legislation

'Anna's Law' would create a student safety app and would also increase response times when accidents occur. The bill also looks to retain bus drivers.

COLORADO, USA — A mother who lost her daughter to a school bus accident is pushing for new legislation that would provide more safety to students who ride the bus. 

Eleven-year-old Annaliese Backner was run over by a school bus when she was trying to catch it going to school on March 3 in Parachute, CO. 

"Anna was fierce and strong, never met a stranger in her life and honest, full of integrity and courage," said her mother Leandra Backner. "I’m trying to draw from that the best I can right now because that’s the only reason I am sitting here in one piece." 

Backner is channeling her grief in hopes of pushing for change at the Colorado State Capitol. 'Anna's Law' was heard in the Senate on Wednesday. 

It seeks to create a student safety app, which sends notifications to parents of school bus arrivals and delays. A silent alarm system and crash detection would also alert first responders of the exact location of a bus when accidents do occur to create faster response times. 

According to the Child Safety Network (CSN), the state of Colorado average two school bus accidents per day, resulting in over 350 per year. The organization said that the advanced technology they are proposing could reduce these accidents by up to 50%. 

The CSN believes that the bill, if passed, will also result in greater driver accountability. 

"We noticed that they were lacking in the technology in order to create safe driver behavior, so instead of depending 100% on drivers to always do the right thing, we can make sure that they don’t speed or go off right," said CSN Founder and CEO Ward Leber. 

"This is a chance to make it right. So that nobody else finds themselves in this predicament again," said Backner, who calls her daughter's death a "preventable tragedy." 

"Nobody should ever have to worry that when they kiss their child goodbye to go to the bus, that it might be the last goodbye," said Backner. 

The bill will continue to make its way through the House, having received funding allocation on Wednesday. 



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