The images of three school children near Seattle, Washington nearly being hit by a car made national news this week, as it served as a poignant reminder that drivers must be aware of their surroundings and obey traffic laws pertaining to school buses.
The security video from the bus driver showed the bus doors opening as normal, and the children getting ready to step out into the road and on to the bus; when out of nowhere, a car zips by; nearly hitting the startled children. This is not the only instance of a close call involving inattentive drivers and children waiting to board school buses. In Minnesota, video of a semi-truck driver bypassing a stopped school bus likely made parents angry as it nearly plowed over a child who was waiting for the bus.
In fact, according to an ABC News.com report, school bus drivers across 29 states, including New York, indicated that they saw more than 70,000 violations. While no statistics were given regarding the number of children injured by inattentive drivers, it is a concern that should raise an alarm with parents and drivers alike.
As we noted in a prior post, drivers have a duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means that they must limit distractions, avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol and obey the rules of the road, among other things. Should a driver fail to use such care and a pedestrian is injured as a result, the driver could be held liable.