Over the course of just one week this past November, 5 children were killed in 6 bus stop accidents across the country. Seven other children were injured in these pedestrian crashes. Although investigations are ongoing, accidents like these often involve inattentiveness and negligence on the part of motorists. We can all do our part to exercise caution. Never pass a school bus when children are loading and unloading. Read below for more tips.
Bus Stop Safety
Exercise caution when you are approaching a school zone or a school bus stop to prevent a car vs. pedestrian crash. In order to do so, we must all pay attention to our surroundings. Distractions like texting or gazing out the window can mean you don't see that you are approaching a neighborhood bus stop.
If you are a motorist, here are the ways you can better ensure pedestrians' safety:
- It is illegal in all states to pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing and the "STOP" arm is extended
- NEVER pass a school bus with red lights flashing and "STOP" arm extended, even if you are traveling in the opposite direction
- Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop for children and you should prepare to stop as well
- Don't proceed until the school bus lights have turned off, the arm has been retracted and the school bus has had a chance to move on from the stop
- Be on the lookout for children on or near the roadway as you proceed
- Don't assume young children will follow rules – they may be playing or congregating near the bus stop, and they could enter the roadway in front of your vehicle
School bus drivers report tens of thousands of passing violations. It's important to take note that it is illegal to pass a school bus with flashing red lights and the stop arm extended.
Stay Alert for Neighborhood Pedestrians
As a motorist, you should be on the lookout for students traveling to and from school on roadways and in neighborhoods throughout your area, not just in school zones. Kids walk, bike and ride scooters to school, and you should be prepared for their presence to avoid a car crash:
- Check carefully for children when backing out of a garage or driveway
- Follow the posted speed limit – all the time of course, but including in neighborhoods where children are walking/biking to school
- Exercise caution if you are approaching a neighborhood school bus stop – children may dart across the road when they shouldn't
- Don't drive distracted! Texting, thinking about work, gazing out your side windows – all of these things and other distractions take your concentration off the road
Caution and attentiveness can go a long way in noticing people on or near the road that you won't notice if you're distracted.
What to Tell Your Children about Getting To and From School Safely
Teaching your children these school bus tips is a good way to prevent injuries and tragedies:
- Always use the sidewalk when a sidewalk is present
- Look both ways (left-right-left) before crossing the road
- Stay 5 large steps away from the curb
- The school bus stop is not a place to play, run or roughhouse
- Wait to approach the bus – look for the door to open and the driver to signal you to board
- If you drop something in the road, don't bend down to get it – tell the bus driver you need to retrieve the item
- When crossing in front of the bus, stay at least 5 giant steps in front of it
- Don't cross behind a bus
- After exiting the bus, always look both ways before crossing the road
Children 10 years old and younger should be accompanied by an adult.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car vs. pedestrian accident, someone else's negligence may be to blame. For a complimentary consultation, please call our experienced attorneys in South Carolina at 803-799-9400. Whetstone Perkins & Fulda has many years of combined experience. Our offices are located in Marion, Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Kingstree.