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National School Bus Safety Week

Protecting our children from harm is the number one job of parents, educators, and others. According to the National Safety Council, about 25 million children across the country take school buses to and from school. Safety is a concern for children who travel to school by bus. The National Safety Council designated October 21 through 25, 2019 as National School Bus Safety Week. The week is dedicated to providing students, parents, and educators with information to improve safety while traveling by school bus.

Tips for a Safe Ride

School buses are designed for safety and include a variety of features such as flashing lights, large mirrors, stop signs, safety arms, to keep children safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that children who travel in school buses are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely rather than traveling by car. Still, a number of school bus accidents occur each year and students are hurt or killed.

When waiting for the bus, stand at least six feet away from the curb. Do not run to catch the bus, even if you are late. Always cross the street in front of the bus and do not walk behind a bus. Parents should try to pick kids up on the same side of the street as the bus. Do not allow children to have strings or straps that dangle and could become caught in the bus mechanisms. Children should obey bus rules and remain seated at all times when the bus is moving. If the bus is equipped with seat belts, children should wear the belts while seated. Keep the aisles clear of backpacks, instruments, equipment and other items. Children should report bus driver problems to parents Schools must take steps to ensure that bus drivers get the proper background checks and have a clean driving record. If the driver is seen texting or using the phone while driving, the driver should be immediately terminated. The school has an obligation to keep children safe while on the bus.

School Bus Seat Belt Law

Wisconsin currently does not have legislation in place to require school buses to have seat belts. Federal law does require seat belts on small school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Local jurisdictions can pass their own legislation if they prefer. While many other states require school bus seat belts, Wisconsin laws do not require them at this time.

The NHTSA supports the use of seat belts on school buses. Studies have found that bus passengers get the most serious injuries in a crash from being thrown about the bus when they are unsecured. Seat belts ensure the safest possible ride while on a school bus. Parents should teach their kids basic school bus safety, including wearing seat belts while on the bus. School administrators and bus operators should enforce bus safety rules.

If your child was hurt in a school bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the medical expenses and other damages. Contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to discuss your case with an initial consultation.

Published October 19, 2019
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