In the United States, an estimated 480,000 school buses transport 25 million children back to school. In Pennsylvania alone, PennDOT reports 31,531 buses carry 1.5 million children. Back-to-school means buses are back on the roads transporting our most precious cargo to and from schools.
While parents may be rejoicing that school is back in session, remember the start of the school year increases congestion on the roads and motorists must take extra precaution when traveling, especially in and around school zones.
Motorists who ignore traffic laws related to school buses put children at risk. According to the American School Bus Council, illegally passing a bus cause two-thirds of school bus loading and unloading fatalities, and nearly two-thirds of all fatalities occur outside of the school bus itself. The personal injury team at Dale E. Anstine cares about our community and reminds motorists to follow these rules and guidelines during the school year:
- Stay In Your Lane
- Avoid the Danger Zone
- Stay Alert and Focused
Stay In Your Lane
According to the American School Bus Council, nearly 10 million drivers illegally pass school buses each year. Passing a stopped school bus not only could results in a 60-day driver’s license suspension and a $250 fine, but also puts children at risk. Children may be running to catch a bus (or in a blind spot) making them hard to see or anticipate. Don’t take any chances, and when you see a stopped school bus, come to a full stop and wait for the bus to resume driving.
Avoid the Danger Zone
In addition to staying in your lane, remember to keep a safe distance from buses. Buses can weigh as much as a tractor trailer and can’t maneuver like a small passenger vehicle. Travel slower and farther away from school buses, and never be within 10 feet of a bus – the danger zone. Remember, buses take longer to stop and turn, and if you travel close to a bus, you increase the risk of collision should the bus need to stop quickly. As a general guideline, travel 25 feet behind a school bus allowing a safe zone around the vehicle.
Stay Alert and Focused
At bus stops, children may be running on or off of the bus, in front or behind of the bus, or darting across the street to walk to their homes. Distracted and careless driving can lead to pedestrian accidents near school bus stops. Distracted driving is never acceptable – stay alert, stay focused and stay safe.
Back-to-school season is an exciting time for students (and parents!) here in the York, Hanover and Gettysburg region. Stay safe on the roads, and here’s to a happy and successful school year!
Dale E. Anstine is a personal injury law firm in South Central Pennsylvania that is focused on the need of its client and community. If you or a loved one have been injured because of the neglect of someone else, reach out today to get a specialized attorney on your side. With offices in York and Gettysburg, our team is proud to protect the injured across the Central Pennsylvania community. Consultations are always free, we’re available 24/7 and there’s no fee unless we win for you.