Traffic laws help protect children traveling on a school bus, but negligent drivers don’t always pay attention to the rules. In Illinois, lawmakers have taken steps to add safety measures that protect children traveling back and forth to school.
Illinois and school bus safety
School buses in the state are equipped with “bus stop-arm cameras.” These cameras work similarly to dash cams as they capture the behavior of other drivers around the bus. If a vehicle travels past a stopped school bus, the video camera captures the movement. Anyone who illegally passes a stopped school bus could face a fine.
School districts also have the authority to monitor and report those who illegally pass school buses. Drivers who make such dangerous passes do more than risk a citation: Their actions could lead to a fatality. The number of fatal incidents involving school children getting off a bus averages seven per year in the United States.
Negligence and school bus accidents
Motor vehicle accidents that lead to collisions with school buses are often the result of negligence. An impatient driver might not wait to pass, and a distracted or intoxicated driver might rear-end the bus. Worse, the vehicle may strike a child exiting the bus.
Children are also at risk for pedestrian accidents while waiting for the bus. Negligent drivers could commit a moving violation that leads to hitting a young person.
In some cases, the school bus driver is responsible for the accident. A fatigued or impaired driver could crash the bus. If the bus lacks seat belts, the children might bear the brunt of the impact.
When negligence leads to a bus or vehicle accident, the injured victim or their family may pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim. A settlement might cover medical expenses and other losses.