Car accidents involving school buses worry Tennessee officials

In spite of the myriad of public service campaigns warning motorists about the dangers of bypassing school buses with their lights and traffic arms activated, there have been numerous accounts of children suffering serious injuries. Tennessee officials are concerned about the rising number of motorists who are driving while distracted and causing serious car accidents. The question of how to increase the safety of students is one that both state and federal officials are trying to resolve.

Drivers are repeatedly reminded that they are required to stop for any school bus that has its lights activated, even those on a highway with separate lanes for opposing directions -- unless there is a grass or concrete divider. Unfortunately, school bus drivers report that motorists routinely ignore these laws, which places the safety of children and fellow drivers in jeopardy. Along with the disregard of the school bus laws, distracted drivers pose another serious risk to the safety of children being transported to and from schools.

Tennessee and federal officials are still deciding if traffic laws regarding school bus safety need to be revised. Along with the horrific crash in 2016 involving a school bus, there have been more recent incidents that resulted in children being harmed by motorists ignoring the flashing lights and traffic control arm. As part of an outreach program, school officials are utilizing a school bus robot that teaches elementary students about school bus safety.

Educating children about bus safety is only part of the equation. Until all motorists heed the laws regarding school buses and distracted driving, approximately 700,000 Tennessee school children will continue to be in harm's way from negligent drivers. Those who have been injured in car accidents are often faced with the burden imposed by financial damages caused by medical expenses, lost wages and associated costs. Victims may seek recovery of these losses by means of a personal injury lawsuit in the state's civil court system.

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