Annually held during the third full week of October, this year’s National School Bus Safety Week falls on October 21-25, 2019. The primary initiative for this week is to promote and address the importance of school bus safety. This year’s theme of the week for 2019 is: “My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!” which derives from the winner of the previous year’s poster contest. Sponsors of School Bus Safety Week include the National Association for Pupil Transportation, National School Transportation Association, and National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
Given that over 25 million children utilize school buses as a form of transportation to and from school each day, School Bus Safety Week serves as a reminder for members of the community to follow the proper traffic laws when driving near school buses. The traffic laws for driving near or around school buses vary depending on the state you are in; however, school bus safety guidelines are probably the most overlooked in driving handbooks. These laws and standards are there to ensure that school buses are protected, and children are not exposed to potential harm, for these vehicles are trusted to transport children safely to school and activities. The design of school buses – flashing lights, giant mirrors, color, shape, and high seatbacks are all specific to maintain safety on the roadway.
As a fellow driver on the roadway, it is your responsibility to be vigilant of school buses or school bus stops in the area, as well as when children are present. Drivers are expected to drive carefully near bus stops, in school zones, and anywhere that kids are present. Some driver safety tips and rules to remember when a school bus is present include:
- A school bus’s flashing red lights with a stop sign indicate that drivers coming from either direction should stop.
- The flashing lights on a school bus signal that drivers in either direction of the bus should stop until the lights go off and the bus begins to move again.
- The yellow flashing lights on a school bus signify that the bus is prepared to stop and unload or pick up children, which means other drivers should stop or continue with caution.
- Drivers should wait until children are safely on the sidewalk before proceeding near the bus stop.
- Drivers should always obey the speed limit signs and stay vigilant of children in school zones.
Additionally, if you are driving and become unsure of what exactly the rules for driving near a school bus are, the best solution is to just stop. It is important for drivers to be extra cautious when children are present since they are young and do not understand the appropriate traffic standards for crossing streets. Keeping this important information is crucial to the safety of yourself, children on the school bus, and the community. Unfortunately, situations where children are harmed on or going to and from school buses still have a chance of occurring and bring about a devastating amount of suffering. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party in a school bus incident, the attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are ready to help you get the justice you and your family deserve. Contact one of our attorneys today at (815) 929-9292 to receive a free consultation.