When children are old enough to go to school on their own, parents often rely on the school bus to get them to school safely. Unfortunately, some negligent motorists ignore safe driving rules at school bus stops and make it dangerous for children and other pedestrians.
Illegal Passing of School Buses
Every state has laws regarding how other motorists should approach and act around school buses. These laws are designed to keep school children safe especially when they are being picked up or dropped off by the school bus.
Motorists are allowed to pass school buses just like any other vehicle on the road while the bus is moving. However, special laws apply to the passing of school buses when they have stopped. Drivers are required to stop and wait for the school bus when it has pulled over to drop off or pick up passengers. School buses have hazard lights turned on and a stop sign out when they come to a stop at a pick-up spot. Motorists may continue with their journey when the stop sign is retracted and the flashing hazard lights are turned off.
Some states allow motorists to pass a stopped school bus if the bus has stopped on a highway with multiple lanes. Some states also regulate the distance at which vehicles must stop when approaching a stopped school bus.
Motorists who flaunt the rules and illegally pass school buses put students and other pedestrians at risk. Pedestrian accidents occurring when buses are stopped to pick or drop students often have catastrophic consequences. If a driver is pulled over for passing a stopped school bus illegally, the driver may face hefty fines or even have his or her driver’s license suspended. The driver may even face criminal charges if they strike a pedestrian while illegally passing a school bus.
If you or your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident where the driver illegally passed a school bus, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. It is however important to note that even though the driver will face criminal charges and have to pay a fine, you must proceed against the driver and his or her insurance carrier separately. You will have to file a civil action against the driver.
Here at the Law Office of J. Clay McCaslin, we represent people in Portland and throughout Oregon who have been injured in pedestrian accidents, regardless of whether a school bus was involved. Please call us today for a free, no obligation claim evaluation.