School bus safety laws are essential. If you suspect laws were broken and your child was hurt as a result, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Our Chicago school bus accident attorneys have handled many of these claims successfully, and we will go to work to help you, too. Call (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.
In October 2018, three children were killed and another injured in Rochester, Indiana, because a driver failed to stop for a school bus’s flashing red lights while the children were crossing. In December, a semi-truck traveling the wrong way on I-74 crashed head-on into a school bus returning home to Bloomington, killing two.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, children are at greatest risk of injury or death when getting on and off the school bus. Most children killed in school bus accidents are five to seven years old and are hit by cars going around a stopped bus. These ten feet surrounding the bus on all sides are known as the “danger zone.”
It does not matter whether a driver is on school property or a public road—these laws must be obeyed. In light of the recent tragedies, Illinois is considering stricter penalties for motorists who violate the following laws:
If you break these school bus safety laws, the penalties for a first offense are a minimum fine of $150 and a three-month license suspension. For a second offense or subsequent conviction within five years, the minimum fine is $500 and a one-year license suspension, according to Illinois State Police.
Traffic may proceed when the bus begins moving again, or the school bus driver motions to indicate drivers should go ahead.
For motorists, it is especially important to never pass on the right of a school bus! Children do not behave like adults. Even if there is no indication that children are present, it is safer not to pass to the right of a bus, because that is where the door is located.
Remember to obey all school bus warning signs and zones. When in doubt, slow down or move away. The speed limit in school zones is 20 miles per hour when children are present, and drivers can be given a citation for speeding.
We entrust our children to a team of educators, administrators, and other school district professionals nearly every day. When something goes wrong and your child is injured while in someone else’s care, that person should be held responsible to pay for the costs.
Hit-and-run drivers are a huge danger to student pedestrians, but sometimes, a bus driver’s negligence can also be to blame. Perhaps the bus driver stopped outside of a school bus zone, or started moving before the children had fully exited the bus. Some students have even been hit by a bus driver after exiting the bus!
If the driver was contracted with a private company that did not properly train them, or a part on the bus malfunctioned, there are more parties who may be held liable for your child’s injury.
School bus lawsuits often involve more than one injured student, and must deal with a government agency—the school district. A public entity claim will have shorter filing deadlines and a higher standard of proof of negligence, so please do not wait to contact a lawyer!
If you have any questions about school bus safety laws, or would like us to investigate your child’s accident, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Our Chicago school bus accident attorneys know how to research these cases and find the guilty parties, and we are dedicated to our clients’ well-being. Call (312) 236-2900 to get started on receiving justice for your child. You can also use our online contact form.