Transportation Safety Agency Takes Action in Response to Children Being Injured or Killed Each Year by Cars Bypassing Stopped Buses
There have been a number of tragic accidents involving children and adults crossing a road to board a stopped school bus and being hit by a car that is trying to illegally pass the bus. As a result, in April, the National Transportation Safety Board called on states to pass the laws necessary to enable local jurisdictions to install enforcement cameras on the stop-arms that extend from school buses and issue citations to any drivers who violate the law by trying to bypass the sign.
Those Who Are Affected
According to school bus drivers from 39 states that participated in a nationwide survey, in a 180-day school year, more than 17 million vehicles passed their buses illegally, and according to Stanford Children’s Health:
- Every year, approximately 17,000 children end up in the emergency room for injuries associated with their school buses; whether that involves boarding or getting off of the bus, standing near it, or riding on it
- More than 40 percent of school bus injuries are caused by auto accidents, and a quarter of them involve kids that are in the process of getting on or off the bus
- Almost 20 children are killed getting on and off buses each year
- Most of those killed are between the ages of five and seven years’ old
- Most children are hit by passing vehicles in the “danger zone” around the bus, which is 10 feet in front, 10 feet on either side, and 10 feet behind the bus
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2018 alone, there were almost 800 traffic crashes in Texas school zones, resulting in serious injuries and deaths
- The most common causes for these accidents included driver inattention, failure to control speed, and failure to yield the right of way
The Law in Texas
While 22 states have already enacted laws that allow jurisdictions to install enforcement cameras on the outside of buses to record violations, unfortunately, Texas is not one of them, meaning that plenty of people are still getting hurt here in these accidents each year. In Texas, the penalty for failing to stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus (regardless of which direction you are driving in) is a fine of between $500 and $1,250 for the first offense, and this cannot be excused by taking a defensive driving class.
If You or A Loved One Has Been Harmed, Contact Our Texas Accident Attorneys
If your child was hurt or killed in an auto or pedestrian accident here in Texas, contact Houston auto accident attorney Sue E. West. The West Law Office can help you obtain both justice and compensation for your injury or loss by thoroughly defending your rights.