Is It Safe for My Kids to Ride a School Bus?
In the aftermath of the Richmond County bus crash that left 40 people injured and cost four others their lives, some believe negligence led to the tragedy. According to The Herald, a Rock Hill, North Carolina newspaper, leading up to the accident, the bus was taking Ramah Juco Academy’s football team to a road game. There were 46 players and other people associated with the team riding the bus at the time of the wreck. In addition, there were around two dozen students from Clinton College riding on the bus with the team.
The report in The Herald said police are pointing to a tire problem as the reason behind the bus crashing into a guardrail and bridge while traveling through Richmond County on US 74. However, investigators were still trying to determine why the tire failed and whether improper maintenance or inspection were a factor at the time of this writing. In addition, the investigation unearthed the fact that the bus the team was traveling on, which belongs to Sandy River Baptist Church, was not registered as a for-hire vehicle. A for hire bus would be required to pass different, and possibly stricter, safety measures and carry a specific type of insurance coverage.
Tips to Avoid School Bus Accidents
If your children ride buses to school or to school-related events, here are a few tips from the National Safety Council to help keep them safe:
- At the bus stop, make sure your kids know to stand away from the street and to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and opens its doors before boarding.
- When boarding or exiting the bus, tell your children they should use the handrail and avoid running or hurrying, because it can lead to slip and fall and trip and fall injuries.
- If there are seatbelts available on the bus, make sure your kids know to buckle up.
- While riding the bus, your kids should not talk too loudly or do anything to distract the bus driver. In addition, tell your child to stay seated while the bus is moving and never to put his or her hands, arms or head out the window.
- After your children exit the bus, if they have to cross the street, tell them that before they cross, they should get at least 10 feet in front of the bus, make eye contact with the driver and wait for the driver to signal that it is okay for them to cross. Once your child gets the all clear from the bus driver to cross the road, he or she should look both ways for other oncoming traffic and only cross when no cars are coming.