In all of our posts about traffic safety (i.e. driving in inclement weather) we have not discussed school bus safety. It is about time that we do so, given that school bus drivers drive thousands of miles around central New York with children on board every month. Additionally, bus drivers are under a higher level of scrutiny given the precious nature of their passengers.
However, a recent ABC News.com report suggests that bus drivers may not be following the rules of the road. In a number of states, including New York, a number of videos have surfaced showing drivers running red lights, driving above the speed limit and not stopping at train crossings. While the videos do not show drivers in accidents, and not all of them are conclusive in showing children on the buses, they do raise some concerns about bus safety.
While there may be those who believe that children are safer riding on buses than walking to school, this does not absolve drivers of their responsibility to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means that they must obey speed limits and traffic laws, avoid unsafe turns and lane changes and must drive without using handheld devices or social media apps. Most importantly, bus drivers must not drive while under the influence of mood altering drugs or alcohol.
Should a driver fail to use such care and an accident occurs because of it, the driver, and in some instances, the school district, could be held liable.