While it might be nice to use a safe(r) language, can't we at least have a compile option in C that adds bounds checking?
Not really for the general case.
In a normal C compiler when a pointer is passed from one function to another, stored in a field of a structure, stored in a global variable etc no information about the start and end of the memory block it points to is stored/passed along with it.
In theory you could have a C compiler that used extended pointers which stored start and end information along with the pointer itself. In practice however such a C compiler would have several issues that would prevent it being widely used. Firstly it would be ABI incompatible with the standard C compiler, so you'd either have to build your whole OS and every app with this compiler or keep two paralell libraries sets. Secondly it would break assumptions that a lot of code makes about the size of pointers and their convertibility to/from intergers. Thirdly it would massively increase memory use.
There have been partial solutions for special cases which provide special versions of system functions that are commonly used in an unsafe manner then modify calls to those functions for the cases where the compiler does know the buffer size (e.g. because the buffer is a local variable) but they are far from a perfect fix.