Drivers Should Stay Cautious as School Buses Return to Oklahoma Roads
Posted on behalf of Edwards Law Firm on Aug 18, 2014 in Auto Accidents
A recent school bus accident in Okmulgee County highlights the importance of driver vigilance as students return to school this fall.
The crash took place in Morris only three days after the fall semester began. As the bus was turning onto a county road from Highway 62 it was rear-ended by another vehicle, injuring eight students. Now, school officials and law enforcement are reminding drivers of the changes they should watch out for while adjusting to the new traffic patterns, and alerting them of the driving risks associated with this renewed presence of buses.
James Lyons, the school superintendent in Morris, noted that drivers of all vehicles simply may not be able to predict what they are going to come up on.
The Morris crash placed the lives of 20 students in danger, and luckily there were no fatalities. In this instance, paramedics assessed the severity of the injuries before the uninjured children were transported to the schools campus by other means.
With more buses on the road in the coming weeks, motorists will have to deal with increased traffic, which may cause delays and an increased sense of urgency to arrive at their destination on time. Drivers must keep in mind that attempting to pass a stopped bus is not only dangerous, its illegal.
In 2011, Oklahoma passed a law mandating that any driver who does not stop for a bus as it lets children off will have their license revoked for one year.
Many drivers choose to ignore the red stop sign that extends from the bus as children exit. Unfortunately, all it takes is one driver in a hurry to seriously injure or even kill a student, which is why the law was enacted in the first place.
The Edwards Law Firm urges drivers to stay vigilant while sharing the road with a school bus at all times throughout the year, but especially as school bus drivers are adapting to their new routes.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that school bus accidents result in 142 fatalities, on average, every yearwe all have a role to play in reducing this number!1
- NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811165.pdf, 2008