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The Delaware State Police urge drivers to pay attention to school bus warnings. According to a recent survey of Delaware public school bus drivers, motorists in this state frequently drive past school buses illegally, putting children’s lives at risk. Ignoring school bus warnings can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, and imprisonment. Additionally, those who cause injury to children or other pedestrians may be liable for damages in personal injury lawsuits.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that students are approximately 70 times more likely to get to school safely by school bus than by any other vehicle. Although school buses are a safer mode of transportation than automobiles, children are still at risk when they are waiting at the bus stop, entering or exiting the school bus, and crossing the street. Most children who are injured in school bus-related crashes are not on the bus; they are hit by drivers who ignore school bus warnings and illegally drive past while students are getting on and off the bus.
In Delaware, if a school bus flashes its lights and extends its stop arm, drivers traveling in the same direction must stop and wait for the school bus to move or deactivate the stop lights before proceeding. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the bus must also stop unless they are across four or more lanes of traffic.
In 2018, a survey of Delaware public school bus drivers revealed that many drivers continue to flout the law despite safety concerns and existing penalties. Over the course of only one day, the bus drivers reported 1,108 illegal passes while having their lights flashing and stop arms extended. Parents in Delaware continue to express concern over their children’s safety due to such frequent violations and the potentially catastrophic consequences.
School bus accidents are often preventable. The Delaware State Police department recommends that drivers:
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, contact a Wilmington personal injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We understand how stressful it can be when motorists do not follow the driving laws. We will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including those in Elsmere and Seaford. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 302-427-9500.