Usually, children on a school bus are safer than children in cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that they are 70 times more safe traveling to school in a school bus rather than a car.
But a recent rash of tragic accidents in Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky have indicated how potentially at risk children riding the bus or walking near school bus stops can be. It’s time for all motorists to focus on how these tragedies – all entirely preventable – can be avoided.
Use Caution Around School Buses and School Crossings
Most importantly, drivers need to use the utmost caution whenever they are around school buses, school crossings, and schools themselves. This applies to not only areas where you can see a bus, crosswalk, or school, but in the neighborhoods. If a school bus has recently discharged passengers, they will be walking home; alert motorists should keep on the alert for children walking.
Drive slowly. Children walking to or from a bus may be walking, assembling in a group for the bus, or playing. They may dart into the street in play, or may suddenly run for the bus. Drive at a rate where you can always stop safely.
Obey the school bus laws in your state. In New York, that means stopping when a school bus flashes its red lights. Your car needs to be a minimum of 20 feet from the bus when you stop. Note that you must stop not only if you’re on the same side of the bus, but if you’re on the opposite side. This applies to all roadways in New York State.
Obey the flashing lights and stop-arms on school buses. The latter are the arms that come out with stop signs on them. Flashing yellow lights mean that the bus intends to stop and will be loading or unloading children. Slow down and be able to stop. Flashing red lights and stop arms mean that the bus has stopped and children are entering or exiting the bus. You must stop. Do not put your car in motion again until the lights are off, the stop arm is back in a nonvisible position, and the bus starts moving.
If You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer in Long Island
Any vehicle accident has the potential to be a tragedy, but none more so than a preventable accident that takes the lives of children.
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are experienced attorneys who will fight for justice if your loved ones have been injured or killed in an school bus accident in Long Island or New York City.
Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what next steps could be. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with a seasoned New York City and Long Island bus accident lawyer today.
- New York State DMV. About the DMV. Chapter 6: Passing. https://dmv.ny.gov/about-dmv/chapter-6-passing
- U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA. NHTSA Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Near School Zones and Bus Stops. November 2, 2018. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-urges-motorists-drive-safely-near-school-zones-and-bus-stops
- U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA. School Bus Safety. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-bus-safety