Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

Distracted drivers make school bus stops unsafe

Many parents in California prefer to pick their kids up from school. However, conflicting work schedules and long hours can make this impossible. Thankfully, parents can rely on the trusted school bus to safely take children home. Unfortunately, recent studies show that bus rides may not be so safe after all, especially when it comes to exiting the bus.

When a school bus stops and the lights are flashing, it is illegal in all 50 states to drive by it. According to NBC News, in spite of this, 15 million drivers did exactly that in the 2017/2018 school year. While many of these cases are still being investigated, experts point to the obvious problem: distracted driving.

The truth is that school buses themselves are typically a safe means of transportation. CNN reports that from 2006 to 2015, only 1 percent of fatal crashes involved school transportation. Even so, one-third of school-age children who did die in accidents involving school transportation were pedestrians. Some were even hit by the actual school bus.

Perhaps, the one silver lining is that there is no indication that these incidents are on the rise. This is all the more reason to consider it a manageable problem that Americans should tackle head-on. But, how?

So far, law enforcement has become more involved through public education programs. Speed limits in school zones also tend to be rigidly enforced. However, the absolute best defense against this problem may be curbing distracted driving. Not surprisingly, many states have passed laws to make this a ticketable” traffic offense.

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