Every year hundreds of children in the United States are severally injured or killed as a result of motorists failing to stop for a school bus when the stop arm is extended and red lights flashing | Bus Accident Lawyers
It is estimated by The American School Bus Council that approximately 500,000 buses provide transportation for children each school year. In total, 23 million children ride a school bus to and from school every day. Most children are struck in an area around the bus which is known as “the danger zone.” The danger zone is the area around the school bus which is approximately 15 feet from all sides of the school bus.
Motorists need to know what to do when the bus is making preparations to stop and pick up or drop off a child.
When the yellow flashing light comes on it is a warning to all drivers that the bus is preparing to stop. The bus driver will then pull out the stop arms and the flashing lights will turn red.
What is the law?
State laws requires all motorists to stop for school buses when picking up and dropping off children. Vehicles in all lanes of travel must stop unless the roadway is divided by a physical barrier or unimproved median. Generally on a divided roadway, only automobiles traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
Many time drivers are unaware of the law when it comes to stopping for a school bus. In addition, driver inattention is likely to be a factor for failing to stop. Cell phones, texting, distractions within the vehicle and ‘zoning out’ are all factors that contribute to the driver’s inattention putting precious children in danger. In Indiana alone the Department of Education reports that in 2014 around 500,000 vehicles ignored stop arms.
What can be done to minimize or eliminate injuries to children?
North Carolina initiated a test program with the installation and use of stop arm camera systems to catch drivers who fail to stop as required. This program could go nationwide. In addition, additional warning lights, such as strobe lights could be added to the red lights to get the attention of distracted drivers.
Educating children on school bus safety for entering the zone of danger
Statistically, children ages 5-7 are the most vulnerable to be severally injured or killed because they are the most inexperienced and may impulsively run when entering or exiting a school bus. Before your young child begins taking the school bus, take the time to discuss safety protocol at the school bus stop and upon entering and exiting the bus.
Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers
In the end, drivers must always be aware of school buses and anticipate that a child will enter the roadway. If you or someone you know has been injured or had a child injured because of a negligent driver, give me a call at 317-639-9501. Our firm personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis, IN are here to help you at any time.
By Charlie WardWard & Ward Law Firm 728 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-639-9501