The dog days of summer have ceased and the commotion of a new school year has begun. We are overwhelmed with supplies, heavy backpacks, fresh haircuts and smiles from children who cannot wait to catch up with friends and maybe learn a thing or two. As parents we feel a sense of relief that our children will get back to a daily routine and keep busy with activities. However, within all the commotion, we cannot ignore or neglect the importance of safety during the start of a new school year.
There will be mornings we may be running late or have to turn around to grab a lunch box. While this may be normal, we must be aware of our surroundings while driving our loved ones to and from their school. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a statement regarding the safety near school zones and buses.
According to the NHTSA, “Every year, approximately half a dozen students are killed by passing motorists each school year while waiting at or crossing toward their bus stops, according to STN’s independent research collected from national wire reports. All 50 states currently have laws that require drivers to stop for a stopped school bus, as do all 10 Canadian provinces, and NHTSA requires stop arms on the sides of school buses as well as eight-way lights to warn motorists of stops.”
The advisory also provides tips to parents and adults working with children regarding bus safety.
- Stand at least six feet (three giant steps) from the approaching school bus while waiting at the bus stop.
- Wait to board the bus until the driver says it is safe.
- When getting off of the bus, cross the street in front of the bus and make sure the bus driver sees you. Always watch for oncoming traffic when approaching or leaving the bus.
- Never walk behind the bus.
The advisory also provides tips for motorists:
- Carefully watch for children when near school zones and school bus stops. Children late to the bus stop may dart into the street.
- Remember that children do not easily gauge vehicle speeds and can often misjudge when it is safe to cross the street when a vehicle is approaching.
- Become familiar with Georgia’s “stopped school bus laws.”
- Remember that yellow flashing lights indicate that a school bus is getting ready to stop and load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop-arm indicate that the bus is loading or unloading children. Motorists should stop and wait for the lights to stop flashing, the stop-arm to be withdrawn, and the bus to start moving before proceeding.
Please share these tips with family and friends, as safety should be of the highest priority in all school settings. At Kaine Law LLC., we are here to provide the highest quality service to our clients who may have endured an auto or pedestrian accident. To speak to an experienced lawyer, contact us today by phone at 888-KAINE-LAW (888-524-6352) or at www.atlantaautoaccidentlaw.com for more information.