As thousands of students throughout Berks County and Schuylkill County and throughout Pennsylvania return to school this week, the law firm of Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., is reminding all drivers to be aware of school buses that make frequent stops all day long to bring children to and from school and school-related activities.

Although every year we hear stories about children being struck or nearly hit by who fail to stop for flashing lights and stop arms, the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road.  In fact, a school student is much safer taking a but to and from school than riding in a car.  Less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide involve school transportation vehicles and part of the reason is that the safety standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for school buses exceed those of regular passenger buses. 

Among other things, school buses are designed to be highly visible and, as previously mentioned, have special safety features like flashing lights and stop-sign arms.  They also have structural protection such as protective seats, high crush standards and protection against rollovers.  School buses are also protected by laws in every state which make it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus when students are getting on and off no matter what direction the cars are driving in.

The NHSTA has the following safety tips for students and their parents:

·        Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before pick-up time.

·        Wait at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb.

·        Do not run or play at or near the bus stop.

·        Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and also wait for the doors
to open and for the driver to say it’s okay before staring to walk to the bus.

·        Never walk behind the school bus.

·        If a child must cross the street in front of the bus, make sure to start your walk at least five giant steps (10 fee) in front of the bus before crossing.

·        Make eye contact with the bus driver when crossing in front of the bus.

·        Do not pick up any dropped items near the bus.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of school students and their families throughout Berks County and Schuylkill County, and serve auto, truck, and motorcycle accident victims and their families in Reading, PA, Pottsville, PA, and throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia. The lawyers there handle injury claims, including claims for serious injuries and death caused by the negligence of other vehicle operators.

From the Desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.

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