Of all the vehicle collisions in Canada, only 0.3 percent of those that cause personal injuries or death involve school buses. School buses are one of the safest methods of travel for children today. In fact, from 1995 to 2004, school buses have transported children as many as 6 billion times. There are approximately 3.4 million student-trips each day in Canada.
Despite the fact that buses are very safe, there is still an average of 941 injuries and 14 deaths per year. Injuries occur more than just because of collisions. Children can be injured on the bus or while getting on or off the vehicle as well. You can talk to your kids about taking extra precautions to remain safe when they ride the school bus each day.
Special Safety Measures for School Buses
Part of the reason that school buses are so safe is that they are designed differently to emphasize safety. They are brightly colored and include safety features like stop-sign arms, cross-view mirrors, and flashing red lights. They also have unique rollover-prevention features and high crush standards as well.
School buses also have special protection under the law to promote safety. For example, drivers are not permitted to pass stopped school buses by law. In fact, British Columbia just increased the fines for drivers who pass stopped school buses in March 2016. The penalty has grown to $368 for the first offence—up from $167. Drivers also receive three penalty points for stop-arm violations as well.
Bus drivers are also required to obtain a commercial licence to drive a school bus as well.
School Bus Safety Tips
It is a good idea to talk to your children about proper school bus safety. In addition, drivers should use extra caution around school buses so they can watch for children getting on and off the bus.
Getting on the Bus
Students should be sure to keep a close eye out for traffic before they attempt to board the bus. While drivers are supposed to yield to children, kids are difficult to spot in some situations. Teach your children to be extra cautious when getting on or off the bus. Children should also be sure to:
- Line up back away from the street to board the bus
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding
- Use the handrail while boarding
- Avoid roughhousing
While Riding on the Bus
Children should adhere to the bus driver’s rules as much as possible. These rules often include the following:
- Wear a seatbelt if one is available
- Stay in the seat until the bus has stopped at the destination
- Do not put limbs or heads out of the windows
- Keep the aisles clear
- Do not distract the bus driver
- Be sure to wait until the bus has stopped completely before moving to get off the bus
Getting Off the Bus
Children should use the same cautious behavior when getting off the bus as they do when boarding. It is especially important that the bus driver can see the children at all times to ensure that they have reached their destination safely.
Drivers should signal children to let them know when it is okay to cross the street. Children should not cross until they see this signal. If a child needs to walk in front of the bus, it should be at least ten feet in front so the driver can see the child over the front of the bus.
Call an Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer
When your child is injured, your first priority is to seek the best medical care for your child. After your child is stable, you should also seek experienced legal representation for you and your child. It is critical that you seek experienced assistance in determining bus accident liability to protect your child’s right to recover compensation for his or her injuries.
For a free legal consultation, contact the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond by calling 1-800-567-HURT. You may also visit our website to speak to someone now.