If you live in a residential neighborhood, chances are you’ve seen someone drive dangerously around the school bus dropping off or picking up little kids. Are you aware of the laws surrounding school buses? Do you know what is acceptable for drivers to do? What should you do to keep school children safe? What should happen if there’s an accident involving a school bus, pedestrian children, or other drivers?
The Utah Injury Lawyers help victims of accidents find justice and compensation, and unfortunately, that can sometimes involve our most vulnerable population – children. So today we’re sharing everything we’ve learned about school bus safety to keep everyone protected out on the roads.
School Bus Safety
- Following Distance: School buses stop frequently, including at railroad crossings and brief yellow lights. Keep a more generous following distance between you and the school bus ahead of you to allow for stops and gentle braking.
- STOP: Most school buses are equipped with the swinging stop signs and flashing lights, but these won’t do much good if you aren’t watching. Carefully look for a bus’s indication of stopping, and follow it carefully. Even if it looks like no kids are getting off or on the bus, it is still the law in every single US state to stop when a school bus stops and not pass the stopped school bus. Many school buses are equipped with video cameras to capture perpetrators who fly past a stopped school bus despite the lights and stop sign, and the fine is hefty.
- Drive More Carefully: Kids are unpredictable and unable to foresee danger around them. They might bolt off the bus, trip and fall, shove a friend or cross quickly without looking for traffic. Drive slowly around school buses, and proceed with caution even when the bus turns off the flashing lights and retracts the stop sign.
- Teach Kids & Neighbors: Take the opportunity to teach your children about traffic safety as they enter or exit their bus. Children should stay on the side of their road while waiting for the bus and only step into the road when the bus is stopped and the door is open. Children should carefully exit the bus and look both ways before crossing any street. It may be worthwhile to set up a hazard sign near bus stops, as well.
- Enlist Police Help: If you are noticing dangerous habits around your bus stops, call in the professionals. A stationed police officer can carefully watch the bus stop areas during pickup and dropoff times to help catch offenders and remind everyone to drive more slowly. This can reduce the risk of accidents or fear.
We hope that your neighborhood bus stops are always safe and obedient. The last thing that anyone wants is a car accident involving a child, especially as they enter or exit their school bus. We can minimize the risk of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities by driving more carefully and educating those around us. If you do find yourself the victim of a car accident, our expert attorneys can help you at Utah Injury Lawyers.