Refusing to stop for a school bus that has its stop arm out is a serious problem in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and throughout the state. In fact, 16,450 of these violations occur on average each day. The situation is so bad that the City of Dallas implemented a School Bus Stop Arm Program to help deter motorists from passing stopped school buses. According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation, one-third of all stopped buses are illegally passed every day.
How Does the Stop Arm Program Work?
The stop arm program uses an onboard management system with real-time two-way communication. Each bus is equipped with three cameras inside the bus and eight cameras on the outside. It captures license plate information and can track the vehicles of violators.
Police officers review the tapes and send out civil fines to those found guilty. The fine for breaking this law is $300. Failure to pay the fee results in late charges plus reporting to the Credit Bureau. So with this in place, why are so many people still passing school buses? Even after Austin ISD implemented the program two Austin students were hit recently exiting their buses. Fortunately, both have fully recovered from their injuries.
How Do You Keep Your Child Safe?
While the cameras are having an impact, a recent survey shows that illegally passing school buses is still the biggest safety challenge for school bus transportation. So how do you keep your child safe on and around the school bus? Review these safety tips and procedures with your child to keep them safe when getting on/off the bus and also while riding on it:
- Before loading the bus, check to see if the driver says that it is safe and load one student at a time.
- Keep all loose items inside your backpack and have your child ask the driver for help if he or she drops something.
- Make sure they understand that they are to remain in their seat at all times and be respectful of the driver and of other students.
- They should also wait until the driver says it is safe to cross the street when exiting the bus and make to stop at the edge of the bus and look both ways for traffic before crossing the street.
What if Your Child is Hit by a Reckless Driver?
Bad drivers should be held accountable for their actions. If your child or someone you know is involved in a pedestrian accident, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel. Often times in these cases the insurance company representing the driver tries to place the blame for the accident on the pedestrian.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will work with you to fight for the compensation that your family deserves. Call Dashner Law Firm today at 972-793-8989 or 817-864-9980 for a free consultation and case evaluation. We are ready to fight on your behalf.