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Children Injured at School Bus Stops

The biggest danger to kids traveling to or from school isn’t the bus ride. It’s at the bus stop where a child arrives at or leaves a bus. In late October and early November of 2018, over a period of three days, five children were killed at school bus stops across the country. Another child who was a victim of the same accident suffered severe injuries and underwent 21 surgeries. In October of 2021 a 10-year-old girl was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver when crossing a street to board a school bus. The red lights on the bus were flashing, and its safety arm was extended.

How Can Drivers Not See a Lit-Up School Bus?

What’s alarming is that a school bus is so big. They’re painted yellow for high visibility and they have flashing lights and stop signs to warn drivers of when they intend to stop or are stopped. Regardless of those safety features and California law, children get injured or even killed at bus stops when they’re getting ready to board or get off of school buses. As per CVC 22454 if a school bus is loading or unloading and has its red lights flashing, vehicles approaching or overtaking it must stop. They can only pass the school bus after the flashing red lights or stop signal arm, if any, cease operation. It’s other drivers who cause these perfectly preventable tragedies, and they typically occur in a specific zone of danger. Maybe they’re distracted, in a hurry or just plain reckless.

Every School Bus Has a Zone of Danger

All sides of a school bus have a 10-foot danger zone that extends from the bus and out perpendicular 10 feet. This is the area where a child is most likely to get hit by a motorist. They should never go near the rear of a bus unless they’re using the emergency exit located there. Many school buses now have a safety bar at the front of the bus that extends out when the bus is stopped. Children must walk around that bar to avoid being in the danger zone.

Child Safety on School Buses

The parents of children who ride school buses to and from school need to talk with their children and reinforce certain aspects of school bus safety. The following should be addressed:

  • Wait for the bus at a location that is well off of the road.
  • Don’t participate in boisterous play a school bus stops.
  • If seat belts are available on the bus, they must be worn.
  • The school bus driver’s job is to get children to and from school safely. Don’t distract him or her with poor behavior.
  • Never open a school bus window and stick your hands, arms or head outside.
  • Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before entering or exiting.
  • Never cross the street in front of the bus until the driver sees you and indicates that it’s safe to cross.
  • Look both ways twice before crossing the street.

Contact a School Bus Injury Lawyer

If your child was injured in a school bus accident by the carelessness and negligence of a school bus driver or another motorist anywhere in California, contact our offices here at Maison Law for a free consultation and case evaluation right away to speak with our California school bus accident lawyer. You can tell us what happened, how it has affected your child and family and your questions will be answered too. You’ll also be advised on all existing legal options for you and your child. No up-front legal fees or costs are even needed to hire us. That’s because we take these cases on a contingency fee basis. Your child’s future and best interests are our primary concerns.


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