School buses are making headlines for all the wrong reasons again today in Hampton Roads after a child was hit by a school bus in Portsmouth.
Separately, in Suffolk, more than 100 bus routes for students were canceled due to a shortage of drivers.
In recent months, Hampton Roads has seen a series of school bus crashes. Many school districts are dogged by shortages of bus drivers amid concerns over pay and conditions.
Portsmouth police said a 6-year-old girl was hurt after being hit by a school bus Friday morning at Lincoln Street and Piedmont Avenue. Police were alerted to the incident around 8:10 a.m.
Portsmouth police said the child was alert and talking after the wreck. A report on WAVY said the child ran out in front of the school bus. Police said it was traveling at a slow speed. The bus hit the child, who fell to the ground and bumped her head. The girl was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
Cooper Hurley’s Bill O’Mara talks school bus safety
In recent months a series of accidents involving school buses have alarmed us. Last November a school bus heading to Granby High School in Norfolk overturned on an I-64 ramp in Norfolk.
Some of these accidents raise concerns about how buses are being driven. Today in Suffolk, 48 bus drivers declined to work, according to media reports.
Bus drivers were reported to be unhappy at the proposed pay raise for next year.
Students who use school buses should take basic safety precautions. Every year about 17 school age children lose their lives in transportation safety-related issues, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA statistics reveal the highest number of accidents involving children occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Student School Bus Safety Tips
1 Make sure the bus has completely stopped before you approach it or get off it. The driver may be still getting it into the correct position. You may be seriously injured or killed by a school bus, even at a low speed.
2 Know the rules regarding school bus safety. Know when you can get on and off.
3 Stay back from the bus until it stops. Students should stay five large steps back from the road and wait until the driver has told them they can approach, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
4 Never walk behind a school bus. The back and sides of the bus have blind spots where the driver can’t see you.
5 Look out for other vehicles when leaving the bus. Students should look left, right and left to ensure no other vehicles are approaching. Not all drivers obey the rules and stop behind a school bus when loading or unloading students. Wait for the driver to signal it’s safe to cross the road.
Read more about our school bus safety tips here. If your child has been hurt in a school bus incident, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Other motorists or their dependents have also sued school districts over serious school bus accidents. A settlement of $2.5 million was recently reached between Virginia Beach schools and the family of a sailor who was hit and killed by a school bus after his car broke down.
If your child is injured due to the actions of a school bus driver, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against a school district. Call us at (757) 455-0077 for a free and confidential consultation. We have a main office in Norfolk and client meeting locations in Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.