With the school year now in full swing, it’s important for drivers to keep bus safety in mind.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, each day more than 40 children in the U.S. are hit by cars while walking. Some of these injuries occur when children are loading or unloading from school busses.
Purnima Unni, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, offered a few safety tips for drivers in a recent press release.
“As students head back to school, it’s particularly important to obey traffic laws and drive safely in school zones,” said Unni. “Be patient during drop off and pick up if you drive your student to school or drive near a school. The roadways surrounding schools are often congested during these times.”
She also stressed the importance of parents discussing safe pedestrian practices with their children.
It’s also important for drivers to remember that when a school bus comes to a stop with lights flashing and the stop arm extended, vehicles traveling on both sides of the street are required to stop. Failure to stop for a school bus when flashing lights and the stop arm are engaged is a Class A misdemeanor and can be punishable by a fine of no less than $250.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) introduced a bill, the School Bus Safety Act, on July 25 to enhance safety features on school busses. The extra precautions the bill calls for include three point seat belts for children and fire suppression systems, along with other precautions. Cohen introduced a similar bill once before, which did not pass.