Pennsylvania Drivers Urged to Stay Alert as Children Head Back to School
During the first week of the new school year, a seven-year-old girl died after being struck by a car as she ran to catch the school bus Wednesday in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The school bus had not yet stopped, but in the girl’s excitement, she darted into traffic and was stuck by an oncoming vehicle. A tragedy like this can play out anywhere as children head back to school in the coming days.
Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys join with the Pennsylvania State Police in reminding motorists to be extra careful over the next few weeks as children return to school. We also ask parents and adults to make sure their children know to look both ways before crossing the street, and to wait for the bus to stop before crossing the street.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports since 2001 there have been 1,236 school transportation-related crashes. Of those crashes, 1,368 people have died. 123 of the deceased were school-age pedestrians who were either struck by the school bus or by another vehicle. Nearly half of those students are between the ages of 5 and 7.
While school buses are the safest form of transportation for children to travel to school, boarding and exiting the bus can be dangerous. Drivers in a rush to get to their destination often view school buses as an obstacle and a hindrance and may speed up to get around the bus before it stops again. Remember that children, in their excitement to get to school, are focused on the bus and not their surroundings.
In Pennsylvania, drivers must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and the stop arm extended. Waiting motorists cannot move until the red lights stop flashing and the stop arm must has been lifted. According to the State Police, if convicted of violating the state’s School Bus Stopping Law, drivers will receive a 60-day driver’s license suspension, five points on their driving record and a $250 fine.
Getting children safely to school is critically important. Our Pennsylvania bus accident attorneys believe that practicing good, safe driving behaviors is critical for school bus drivers, and it is just as important for all Pennsylvania residents when driving near school bus stops and around school buses. Please drive safely and carefully when on our PA highways.
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If you have been injured or a loved one killed in a vehicle or bus accident that was caused by another person’s carelessness or recklessness, you may be able to recover damages that include medical costs, property loss, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Please call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free assessment of your case or use our free online accident case evaluation.
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