October 22nd through October 26th was National School Bus Safety Week. Law enforcement agencies, school districts, parents and motorists were asked to discuss the importance of school bus safety with other students and drivers. Our team of personal injury attorneys looked at some of the statistics surrounding school bus safety, what students and drivers can do to avoid a future accident, and school bus-related laws that drivers should know about. We invite you to learn more about school bus safety and we hope that you share this information with others in our community.
“My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!” was the slogan for this year’s campaign. School buses are reportedly the safest method of transportation available to students. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that school buses are about 70 times safer than passenger cars and 10 times safer than walking. Every year, an average of 23.5 million students rely on the familiar yellow bus for their commute to school, and a whopping $22 billion is allocated to student transportation. Our nation has hundreds of laws, policies and regulations in place to help protect students from being involved in a school bus related injury or fatality. Kansas and Missouri require drivers be over the age of 21, complete 40+ hours of training, have a clean driving record with no DUI in the past 10 years, pass a motor vehicle record check, pass a criminal background check, and submit a clean drug screening in order to be an eligible school bus driver.
Every year, an estimated 17,000 people get admitted into the ER with school bus-related injuries. A high percentage of these accidents occur when a student is outside of the bus; this area is referred to as the “Danger Zone”. In most cases, accidents and injuries occur as a result of the negligence and carelessness of a motorist who failed to obey the law. The Kansas City Police Department reported that most drivers who get pulled over are distracted, and the National Safety Council reported that children ages four to seven who are involved in a school bus-related accident are most likely to be killed while walking in the “Danger Zone.” If we put two and two together, we find that drivers and motorists are the biggest threat to students.
School Bus Safety Tips
- Arrive to the bus stop 5 minutes early
- Stay off the street
- Find a “buddy” to travel with
- Wait for permission from the school bus driver before crossing
- Do not walk behind the bus
- Stay in your seat and in the bus at all times
- Keep your body inside of the bus at all times
- Wait for the bus to be at a complete stop before exciting or boarding
- Walk through your bus route with parent or guardian
- The bus driver can’t see you if you can’t see him
- Familiarize with safety procedures
- Exercise extra caution when driving in a school zone or near a school bus.
- Familiarize yourself with school bus laws and school bus routes
- Eliminate distracted driving
- Put mobile device away
- Never overtake a school bus unless permitted by law
- Learn the school bus-related laws in your state
- Parents may want to ride with inexperienced drivers
- Do not speed
School Bus Policy
A month-long operation by local law enforcement revealed that hundreds of drivers in our community are failing to stop for school buses. Kansas and Missouri have laws and regulations in place to help keep drivers and students out of harm’s way during their commute to school:
- Kansas Laws: https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Bus/Illegal%20Passing%20Survey/Brochure-081517.pdf
- Missouri Laws: http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MSHPWeb/Root/BackToSchool2013.html
Helpful information for students and parents:
Missouri School Bus Safety Resources
- Missouri FAQ: https://dese.mo.gov/faqs/school%20transportation
- Missouri School Bus Inspection Regulations Manual: https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/MVI/documents/schoolBusRegulations.pdf
Kansas School Bus Safety Resources
- Kansas Bus Safety FAQ: https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Fiscal-and-Administrative-Services/School-Finance/School-Bus-Safety
- Kansas School Bus Inspection Regulations: https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Bus/Regulations/RegulationsDecember2017.pdf
- Kansas Loading Survey: https://www.napt.org/files/2016-17LoadingSurvey1-18-18.pdf
Personal Injury Lawyers in Kansas City
When you obey the law, you help make our community a safer place. If you or a child have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve an attorney that will get you the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, pain, financial loss and other damages. You may only need an attorney once in your life, and if you do, we are here, right here, fighting for you. Call Castle Law Office at 816-842-7100 or you can click here to email us.