Falls Church, Virginia, is set to become the first city in northern Virginia to ticket drivers for passing a stopped school bus. In an informal study, the school bus drivers were asked to count how many cars passed their bus while it was stopped. In one day, the violations were over 60. By unanimous vote, the city council voted to have video cameras installed on all of their school buses that would turn on when the buses stop to let children on or off.
Each year, students are injured by drivers that are distracted or not paying attention when a school bus stops. The Falls Church council hopes that the new ordinance changes the behavior of drivers around school buses. With students preparing to go back to school, educators and lawmakers are reminding drivers about safety in the school zone.
If you are a driver:
- Stop when you see a school bus with flashing lights. Drivers who fail to stop when a school bus stops can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined or jailed. If the driver causes an injury or death, the driver can be charged with a felony.
- Be aware of school zones and slow down.
- Do not text and drive.
If you are a bus rider:
- Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
- Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack.
- After getting off the bus, move immediately to the sidewalk.
- Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street.
- Don’t use a cell phone or listen to music while crossing the street.
The Virginia car accident attorneys at Shevlin Smith would like to remind drivers to be mindful of buses and children on their way to school.