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Minnesota School Bus Safety Issues: Investigating School Bus Accidents

     It is ludicrous to think people have to be reminded to drive safely around school buses. Drivers have a duty of care and that duty of care should be heightened when it concerns the safety of our children.

Minnesota Statute 169.444 addresses the safety of school children regarding the duties of other drivers (other than the bus driver). It states:

When a school bus is stopped where signs have been erected, and the bus is displaying the stop arm and flashing red lights, the driver of a vehicle approaching the bus must stop at least 20 feet away from the bus and shall not move until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing.

No person may pass or attempt to pass a school bus on the right when the school bus is displaying the pre-warning flashing amber lights.

Furthermore, it is a misdemeanor for a driver to pass or attempt to pass a school bus in a motor vehicle when a school child is outside of and on the street or highway used by the school bus or on the adjacent sidewalk.

If a child is hit catching the bus, an investigation is critical. Every aspect of the accident must be examined and analyzed to determine liable parties. The following questions need to be answered:

Did the vehicle try to stop?
Were there skid marks?
Were the flashing red lights on?
Was the stop arm extended?
Was the bus driver watching traffic to determine if the vehicles were stopping?
Was the bus driver watching the child to offer guidance on when it was safe to cross the road?
Was the bus driver distracted by other traffic, by kids on the bus, drinking, eating, reading, adjusting mirrors or using a cellphone?
Was the driver distracted by other people in the vehicle, talking on a cellphone, texting, eating, drinking, putting on make-up or any other type of distraction?
Did the weather play a part in the accident? Was the sun blinding? Was it icy, foggy, snowy, dawn or dusk?
Did all drivers involved have valid licenses?
Did all drivers involved have clean driving records?

Both adults and children need to be aware of school bus safety issues. Young children do not fully understand our dangerous world. They tend to be trusting - they trust adults to protect them and they trust drivers to see them and watch out for them.

If a child is hit while crossing the road to get on the school bus, you may have a claim against the driver of the car, bus driver, bus company, school district and others for the following:

Medical expenses
Physical therapy
Occupational therapy
Speech therapy
Lost wages
Pain and suffering (includes disability, disfigurement, physical pain and emotional distress)
Loss of quality of life
Other damages

A big, yellow school bus is difficult to miss when you are driving down the road. Drivers need to be more attentive and cautious around school buses. They need to watch for children and be prepared to stop. Adults are responsibility for the safety of children. They are our future.

Article Source:

You deserve justice and fair compensation on behalf of your child. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and have won bus accident lawsuits. If you or your child has been in a school bus accident, contact a bus accident lawyer at PritzkerOlsen, P.A. Call today: 1-888-377-8900 (toll free).

Posted on 2012-05-27, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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