How To Keep Our Children Safe Going To School

This New Device Protects Kids

You would think having a huge yellow vehicle with flashing lights and a bright red stop sign would be enough to alert drivers to stop for a school bus. Unfortunately, motorists often ignore these glaring warning signs and speed past school buses while children are getting on and off.

This is what happened to a new client of mine. As her young daughter was crossing the street to get on her bus in Fort Worth, a speeding truck ran her over. Fortunately, he missed several other kids next to the girl. 

The child had to be rushed to the hospital, where she had to stay for four days, and can only attend school being pushed in a wheelchair. The poor girl will need another major surgery in a few months to replace the plates and screws holding her tiny leg together.

This horrible tragedy could have been avoided had the driver just stopped for the brief time it took for the children to cross the road. What could be that important that he felt compelled to whip around the bus and seriously injure a young child? We’ll find out in court.

Children at Risk Near School Buses

As this article in today’s Dallas Morning News explains, a stopped school bus doesn’t stop drivers from violating state law — and common sense — and risking children’s lives and limbs.

After the McKinney Independent School District estimated that drivers blazed past stopped buses 3,500 times last year, it designed a new program to curb speeding past stopped buses.

The school district’s buses now have six-foot long arms with flashing lights and two stop signs. When the bus stops, the long arm reaches across the entire lane of traffic, making it much more difficult for drivers to scoot past. 

During the past three-week pilot phase of the project, bus drivers report much lower rates of vehicles unlawfully passing buses that are stopped. 

Not surprisingly, not even a six foot arm blocking their way is enough to stop some negligent drivers. 

A local TV station caught transgressors on camera. Several vehicles moving in the opposite direction ignored the warning signs. One driver heading in the same direction as the bus refused to stop and actually moved into the adjoining lane and practically swiped the stop sign while sliding past.

What is wrong with people?

We’ll be watching this closely to see whether the longer arm makes a difference in child safety and whether other Texas school districts adopt this brilliant in-your-face approach. 

I call on our state legislators to make these longer arms mandatory.

If you or your child have been crashed into by another driver, Berenson Injury Law is here to help you recover your damages. Please call our Dallas-Fort Worth law firm for a free case evaluation.

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