Nathan's Law passes

JONES COUNTY (WDAM) - The school bus safety legislation known as "Nathan's Law" was signed into law Monday.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant said Monday, "I appreciate the dedication and passion of Nathan's parents who were so instrumental in seeing this legislation through. Nathan Key, whom the legislation was named in honor of, lost his life because of a driver's total disregard for the danger of passing a stopped school bus. This has been a long hard fight but was worth every effort to provide a safer environment for our children."

In 2009, Lori Key's purpose in life took a different path than she expected. Her 5-year-old son, Nathan, was tragically killed getting off the school bus. At that time, Lori began her quest to make sure what happened to her child never happens again.

Key said Monday, "My day to day life since the very first day that we introduced this bill, the first session that it was introduced, I lived Nathan's law every day."

Lori got to work not only statewide, but nationwide.

Key said, "(I was) On the phone with people, you know, people nationwide. We didn't pull this bill or things included in this bill from just people from the state of Mississippi. I had people out of New Hampshire that I spoke with, school bus safety experts, District Attorneys from all over the place, not just the state of Mississippi."

It was her research and dedication with a team of supporters that has brought Nathan's Law to fruition.

She said, "This is something that has a good ending out of such a horrible tragedy."

Key says although it is a constant reminder of the pain of losing her son, the governor signing Nathan's Law is a victory as far as she is concerned, saying, "This bill was intended to be comprehensive, not in just one area of the law."

The law itself means stronger penalties and steeper fines for those who pass school buses, and will also mean changes to the state's driving test, with questions about school bus safety.

Now that Nathan's Law on the books, Lori's next step is maintaining Nathan's legacy by educating kids on school bus safety, because she says, "This is a great legacy."

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