With children back at school, the federal administration is turning its attention to the critically important subject of school bus safety, starting off with a media campaign to specifically warn drivers about the most common mistakes that many of them make when encountering a stopped school bus. Unfortunately, these mistakes often result in the wrongful death from pedestrian accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a school bus safety campaign that warns motorists about the risk to child pedestrians when they illegally pass a stopped school bus. The campaign is expected to last through the entire month of October and also coincides with National Pedestrian Safety Month which is marked in the month of October. It is child pedestrians, specifically school children getting on or off school buses, that the campaign wants to raise awareness about.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the greatest accident threat to school children is manifested not when they are riding on a school bus, but getting on or getting off the school bus. Georgia, as every other state in the United States, has laws that specifically prohibit motorists from passing a stopped school bus. Motorists are required to stop their car for as long as the school bus stop arm is extended. However, many motorists fail to do so every year, and these failures have devastating results. They cause pedestrian accidents that cause serious injuries to children.
These violations are far more common than anyone realizes. According to the 2019 Stop Arm survey by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, school bus drivers recorded 95,319 violations per day involving motorists who failed to stop when they came across a stopped school bus. That works out to more than 17 million violations in a single 180- day school year.
These violations have a terrible cost. Between 2010 and 2019, there was a 1.6 times increased risk of wrongful death involving pedestrians around a school bus than involving the occupants of these buses.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides for funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be used for the safety of children as well as school bus operators. The campaign will specifically focus on this threat to school children this coming school year.
Remember, if the school bus ahead of you has yellow lights flashing, it means that it is preparing to take on or drop off child passengers. You must slow down your car and prepare to come to a complete stop. If, however, the school bus has red flashing lights and has stopped or has an extended arm, it means that there are children getting on or getting off the bus. It is your duty to come to a complete stop and wait till the lights change again before you resume driving.
The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.