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How to Prevent School Bus-Pedestrian Accidents

How to Prevent School Bus-Pedestrian Accidents (PDF)

In August of 2021, a 9-year-old girl experienced a tragic accident when she was struck by a car while crossing the street after alighting from her school bus. The injuries she sustained were severe, including a broken pelvis, a fractured clavicle, and multiple bruises. In light of this heartbreaking incident, states nationwide have taken proactive steps to enhance safety measures.

Many have introduced flashing lights, extended arms at the front of buses, and stop signs that extend from the side of vehicles.Traffic regulations aimed at preventing the overtaking of stopped school buses have been revised, and penalties for violations have been increased, all to foster greater responsibility among drivers who encounter bus stops. Despite these commendable initiatives, such accidents continue to transpire. Ultimately, it falls upon motorists to prioritize the safety of our children.

It’s Important to Know the Law

To ensure clarity regarding the legal obligations concerning stopped school buses, it is crucial to familiarize oneself with the requirements stipulated by Maryland law. The following circumstances necessitate drivers to come to a stop:

  1. When you are traveling in the same direction as the school bus, regardless of the number of lanes present.
  2. When you are traveling in the opposite direction as the school bus, there is no physical median separating your side of the road from the side of the road where the bus is located.
  3. Irrespective of the direction from which you approach the bus, you must halt your vehicle at a distance of at least 20 feet from the bus.

These provisions serve as a legal framework designed to prioritize the safety of students and ensure compliance with traffic regulations.

It’s Better if You Slow Down and Pay Attention

It is crucial to recognize that the absence of a deployed stop sign or flashing lights on a school bus does not guarantee the absence of children in the vicinity. Children can exhibit unpredictable behavior and may unexpectedly run into traffic for various reasons. Even if you are not violating any specific laws, the prospect of causing harm or even fatality to a child is something no one wishes to bear. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to exercise caution, reduce your speed, and remain highly attentive whenever you encounter a stopped school bus. By doing so, you contribute to the overall safety and well-being of children in these situations.

The Light Yellow Means Stop

An essential guideline to follow is to initiate your stop when the school bus activates its yellow lights unless it is not safe for you to do so. Waiting until the lights turn red before stopping can inadvertently send the wrong signal to other drivers, potentially leading them to continue driving or, in some cases, even accelerate in an attempt to avoid stopping. This dangerous behavior increases the risk of accidents occurring. To promote safety and prevent such incidents, it is advisable to begin your stop when you observe the yellow lights on the school bus unless stopping at that precise moment would compromise your safety or the safety of others. By adhering to this practice, you contribute to a safer environment for all road users, particularly children.

Talk to an ATLINJ Georgia Lawyer

In the unfortunate event that your child has sustained injuries in a bus accident, it is crucial to take immediate action. The severity of their injuries can have a profound impact on their education and future prospects. Engaging the services of a skilled bus accident lawyer is essential, as they can assist you in pursuing the compensation necessary to ensure your child’s complete recovery and safeguard their future.

An experienced bus accident lawyer like ATLINJ Georgia’s lawyers can be instrumental in successfully navigating the claims process and possesses the expertise and knowledge to navigate the legal complexities associated with such cases. They will work diligently to gather evidence, assess the extent of your child’s injuries, and determine liability. By seeking rightful compensation, your child can access the necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation, and support services vital to their recovery.

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