Every morning, you quickly hustle your child out to the corner to wait for the bus. In the meantime, you might be shocked. Youngsters waiting at school bus stops actually face an enormous risk for personal injury.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), school buses are generally considered safe vehicles. In fact, the blame for most bus accidents does not fall on the bus operator. However, that’s not to say that other factors involving your child’s trip back and forth to school aren’t concerning.
For example, you might already recognize the risks involved in loading and unloading passengers. The Kansas State Department of Education’s School Bus Safety Unit collects national statistics regarding school bus accidents that occur during these events. In the 2017-2018 school year, six children died when entering or leaving their school bus.
However, there are more concerns when it comes to drop-offs and pickups. Throughout the country, law enforcement agencies consider April as Distracted Driving Month Awareness. Many police departments actually receive additional funding to buckle down against those who multi-task while behind the wheel.
According to a recent news article, three Pennsylvania communities have adopted a particular focus as far as monitoring and enforcing distracted driving issues. The police plan to target motor vehicle operators who aren’t paying attention in the area of school bus stops.
You can well imagine the need for such a crackdown. Unfortunately, multitudes of students waiting at the bus stop don’t stand a chance when a distracted driver crashes into them.
School Bus Stops: The Law
In the meantime, it’s not just distracted driving that poses a problem as far as school bus stops. For some, it’s that not everyone who drives a car or other vehicle knows the law – or chooses to follow it.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides a simple compilation of the state’s school bus stopping laws as follows:
- Drivers must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and stop arms are extended
- Motorists following or traveling must wait until the red lights stop and the arm withdraws before moving.
- Drivers need to stop whenever they approach a stopped school bus.
- A motorist in opposing lanes may move if there are physical barrier separating traffic.
- The general rule of thumb means waiting for children to reach a place of safety.
Unfortunately, your child could suffer injuries because someone else was in a hurry. More than likely, you’ll have little sympathy for another party’s failure to recognize the safety concerns associated with school buses or bus stops.
If Your Child Is Hurt at a School Bus Stop
Was your child hurt at a school bus stop? If the injuries were a result of someone else’s negligence, you might want to consider pursuing legal action. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli to set up an appointment to learn how we can assist you. There is no charge to meet with us and we ultimately only receive a fee based on successful recovery on your child’s behalf.