Next week is National School Bus Safety Week. Children riding to school via bus are 70 times more likely to get to school safely compared to riding in a car. And thankfully, accidents involving school buses are rare, but they are particularly disturbing when they occur.
School Bus Accidents Can Be Devastating
However, the timing of National School Bus Safety Week is ironic, as, sadly, this past Wednesday, a 7-year-old girl was struck by a car after exiting her school bus on East Woodland Avenue in Springfield, Delaware County, suffering critical injuries. According to certain witnesses, the school bus lights were still on and the stop arm extended when the accident occurred.
In addition, in Indiana this week, following a trial, a 24-year-old Indiana woman who struck four children with her pickup truck, killing three of them, has been found guilty of reckless homicide. The children had been crossing a rural highway on their way to a school bus. The woman, who will be sentenced on Dec. 18, now faces up to 21 1/2 years in prison.
Please allow the below to serve as a safety refresher of the rules of the road regarding school buses:
- Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
- Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
- Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
- If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
- Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
Please feel free to share, especially to our younger, less experienced drivers on the road.