In the past week, there have been multiple fatal school bus accidents across the country. Although experts and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claim school buses are the safest means of transportation for children, recent crashes have raised concerns about the lack of safety involved with boarding and deboarding school buses.
The recent crashes involved children and parents being hit by cars while crossing the street to board buses or while waiting at bus stops. Although these crashes continue to be under investigation, distracted driving seems to have been a prevalent factor. Some of the drivers involved in these crashes failed to stop when the school bus stop-arms were in use.
What are California’s School Bus Laws?
Each state has its own school bus laws. Under the California Vehicle Code, any driver who comes upon a stopped school bus from either direction is required to stop if the bus’s light signals are flashing and its stop-arm is extended. These signals indicate students are entering or exiting the school bus. Vehicles are prohibited from passing a school bus until the stop-arm is raised.
In addition, the speed limit when approaching or passing a school building when children are present is 15 miles per hour unless otherwise stated.
Although a first or second violation could result in fines up to $1,000, a third violation of California’s school bus laws within a three-year period will result in an automatic license suspension for 12 months.
If your child has been injured or killed due to negligence in San Jose or Santa Clara County, contact our child injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia. Braid Pezzaglia has more than 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law. Call our office today at (408) 752-5834 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.