School Bus Stop Safety Guidelines
Summer is officially over, and children in Tennessee and all across the country back in school. While this is normally an exciting time for parents and children, tragedy can strike if parents, motorists, and bus drivers aren’t paying full attention to the road and to children getting on or off the school bus.
The attorneys at Terry Law Firm want all kids in our community to be safe when heading to and from school. We’re sharing some tips that can help parents, children, and drivers avoid accidents at school bus stops.
If your child has been hurt in an accident at a school bus stop, we want to help you. Call us or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Tennessee Laws on Driving Near School Buses and Stops
According to Tennessee Code 55-8-151, it is the law that anyone driving a motor vehicle behind or toward a school bus must come to a complete stop while the bus is letting children on or off. It is only safe for the driver to proceed forward if the school bus has put in its stop sign, closed its doors, and begun to move.
The only case in which a driver does not have to stop upon encountering a stopped school bus with flashing lights is if the highway has separate roadways, which means the school bus is on the other side of any sort of divider on which vehicles do not drive, such as a median or a barrier.
In addition, it is law in Tennessee that all vehicles used to transport children to and from school must be labeled “School Bus” on the front and rear so that drivers heading in either direction can clearly identify the vehicles as school buses. The labels must be at least 6 inches in height and written in a plain, legible font.
School Bus Stop Safety Tips
Parents can take the following precautions to help their children avoid school bus accidents while en route to school:
- Getting Ready – Have your children put everything they need in their backpacks so that they don’t risk dropping important items from their hands and running into the road for them. In addition, have them wear brightly colored clothes if their uniform or dress code allows it.
- Walking to the Bus Stop – Make sure your children know to stay on the sidewalk at all times if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. If they must cross the street, make sure they know to cross at designated crosswalks only when the walk signs are on, if available. If there is no crosswalk, cross at intersections. Remind your children to look left and right for school buses and cars before crossing.
- Getting On and Off the Bus – Tell your children to never pick up a dropped object while getting on the bus. Instead, they should alert the driver so they can get it for them if possible. Remind them to look both ways when getting off the bus and crossing the street, as some drivers attempt to sneak past school buses. If you’re meeting your child at the bus stop at the end of the day, make sure to be on the same side of the street as the bus stop so your children don’t run across a busy road to meet you.
Tips for Drivers to Be Alert for Students
Drivers have a duty to pay attention to the road when near school bus stops and in school zones. Drivers can keep the following tips in mind to ensure the safety of students.
- Don’t Get Distracted – Tennessee is a hands-free state. Put down your cell phone and pay attention to the road at all times. It can wait.
- Pay Attention to School Zones – School zones have decreased speeds for a reason. If you enter a school zone, slow down and be on the lookout for children entering or exiting school buses or crossing the street.
- Stop for Buses – When a school bus is stopped, it is most likely letting children on or off. Remain at a complete stop until the school bus closes its doors and proceeds forward.
How Terry Law Firm Can Help If Your Child Was Injured at a Bus Stop
If your child was injured in an accident at a school bus stop, your top priority should be their health. At Terry Law Firm, we will make it our goal to seek the compensation and justice your child deserves so that you can focus on healing, instead of medical bills.
We will thoroughly review your case and work to identify all liable parties. Our firm values compassion and empathy, and we have a proven record of success in a wide variety of injury cases. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or give us a call for a free consultation.