School Bus Stop Safety
A string of deadly school bus stop accidents has parents, school bus drivers, law enforcement, and safety officials saying enough. During one week in November 2018, tragedy struck:
- In Rochester, Indiana, a motorist stuck three young siblings at school bus stop. The motorist passed the school bus even while the bus’s lights flashed, and the stop arm was extended.
- In Baldwyn, Mississippi, a truck driver hit and killed a young boy crossing the street to get on his school bus. The driver failed to heed school bus stop sign and flashing signal warnings.
- In Tampa, Florida, a motorist hit five children and two adults while waiting for the school bus. Fortunately, no one was killed in this incident and the accident remains under investigation.
- In Tallahassee, Florida, a five-year-old was struck by a vehicle while boarding his school bus. The teenage driver did not stop for the bus with its flashers and stop arm down.
- In Franklin Township, Pennsylvania, a seven-year-old was killed as as he waited at his school bus stop. Police reported that the alleged driver under investigation ran over the young boy at a slow speed and left the scene of the accident. The incident remains under investigation.
The common thread in most of these accidents is that they were PREVENTABLE. Motorists are simply paying too much attention to their cell phone or their digital dashboard displays and not enough attention on the road and driving. Other motorists are in too much of a rush, speeding and violating road signals and bus signage. And, even though it is illegal in all U.S. states, a study estimated more than 15 million drivers passed a school bus when it was stopped, lights flashing and stop arm extended last school year alone! This preventable behavior is costing us our children.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 1,282 people of all ages killed in school transportation-related crashes between 2007 and 2016. This is an average of 128 fatalities per year. During this same period, there were 281 school-age children killed in school transportation-related accidents where 98 were pedestrians.
It should not take a needless tragedy and loss of a child to get motorists to care and pay attention while driving around school buses. For additional bus statistics and for some very important safety tips for drivers please click on our blog: Back to School Safety Tips.