As children head back to classes after summer break, Tennessee drivers need to be aware as they drive in both school zones and around school buses to protect students as they walk and ride to school. According to news.tn.gov, State Troopers issued more tickets for school zone violations during the 2012-2013 school year than for the 2011-2012 year. There were approximately 1,400 more citations given during the last school year, including over 750 speeding violations and two violations by motorists passing a stopped school bus. With one school bus accident having happened in the state since the 2013-2014 school year started, parents are hoping their children are safe on their way to and from school.
School bus crash in Chester County
A minor traffic incident involving a school bus occurred in the town of Henderson during the first week of August. The bus was carrying over 40 students at the time. School officials say they support the driver, who has never been involved in a major accident. Parents are less enthusiastic about the bus driver, whom they say has driven in an unsafe manner in the past. One mother of a student on the bus reported that she received a call from her daughter after the incident. In an interview on wbbjtv.com, the woman stated that her daughter called to tell her that the driver took a curve too fast and ran into the side of a log truck. Although no students were hurt and no charges were placed against the driver, the accident highlights that no vehicle which transports children can ever be totally safe.
At least one Tennessee school district has decided to add buses with seat belts for every child to their fleet. In Kingsport, there are three-point safety belts on all seats, which is a change from last year when their buses all contained lap belts. Only six states require seat belts on all school buses, and Tennessee is not one of them. The National Transportation Safety Board believes that more lives could be saved if more buses were equipped with safety belts.
School buses are actually a very safe mode of transportation for children. Statistics gathered by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration and the American School Bus Council show that children are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they take the school bus rather than driving or riding with friends. School bus travel is even safer for a child than riding to school with a parent. However, it is not a perfect form of transportation. When you are driving in a school zone or see a school bus on the road, be sure to drive safely.
If you have been injured in an accident and wish to seek compensation for injuries, property damage and lost wages, contact an experienced attorney in your area. A lawyer can inform you of your rights under the law.