Exercise Safety at the School Bus Stop in Hampton Roads
We read frequently about school bus crashes in Hampton Roads. Fortunately, few of them are serious for students. However, the school bus stop can be a dangerous place. You should aim to exercise safety at the school bus stop in Hampton Roads.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most hazardous scenario for your child is not riding the school bus, but approaching or leaving it.
Injuries to students typically spike in the fall when mornings and evenings get darker.
It’s important for you and your child to know traffic safety rules. Teach your child to follow practices to make school bus transportation safer and make sure you are familiar with the school bus driver’s rules.
Here are some top safety tips for kids at the school bus stop in Hampton Roads
Your child should get to the school bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is due to depart, ideally earlier.
Wait for the school bus away from the road. Many school bus accidents occur when children suddenly run into the road in front of the bus. Stay at least three giant steps or six feet back from the curb.
Children should never run around or play at the bus stop. Remind your child to stand in an orderly line and ban horseplay.
When the mornings or evenings are darker, make sure your children are wearing bright clothes or have fluorescent strips.
Get Safely on and off the Bus
Your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver signals children should approach the bus door before moving from the sidewalk. Your child should always use the handrails to avoid falling.
Be Cautious Around the Bus
A student should never walk behind a school bus. If the student must cross the street in front of the bus, he or she should walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street. The child should allow 10 feet, or five giant steps, before crossing in front of the bus. Instruct students to make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see them. If a child drops something close to the school bus, like a school book or a ball, the student should not rush into the road to get it. He or she should tell the bus driver right away.
What Tips Should Drivers Follow When Students are Going to School?
Drivers cause many accidents involving students going to school and returning home. Recently, a 12-year-old was tragically killed by a box truck on a crosswalk after leaving a nearby library in a school zone in Norfolk.
The following driving tips safeguard students going to school.
- When backing your car of a driveway or leaving the garage, look out for children walking or bicycling to school.
- Slow your speed. Watch out for children walking in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks in neighborhoods which mean they have to walk on roads.
- When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, be acutely aware of young people going to school.
- Look out for children playing and congregating close to bus stops.
- Be alert. Children arriving late for the school bus may run into the street without looking for traffic.
- Learn and obey the school bus laws as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of their intentions. It’s a serious offense to overtake a school bus when it’s stopped to pick up or unload students.
- Yellow flashing lights are warnings that the school bus is preparing to stop to load or unload students. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting embarking or getting off. Drivers must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is retracted, and the bus begins moving before they can start moving again.
In Virginia, a driver who fails to stop for a school bus or a bus used by mentally or physically handicapped or elderly people is in violation of § 46.2-859. The driver faces a fine of $250.
Exercise care at the school bus stop in Hampton Roads. If your child has been hurt at a school bus stop in Virginia Beach or elsewhere, please call our experienced injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077.