A new bill seeks to increase the safety of students who are exiting a school bus and crossing the street.
Senate Bill 379, if it passes, will require the oncoming traffic on a two-lane road with a continuous left turn lane to stop for students getting on off of a bus.
The bill was proposed following an accident last November in which a five-year-old girl was struck by an SUV as she was crossing the street after being let off the school bus. The driver of the SUV failed to obey the bus's stop sign and was driving around the vehicle stopped in front of them when they struck the girl. After being admitted to the hospital in critical condition and undergoing surgery due to the extent of the injuries she suffered, the child recovered and went home.
Otis Jones, the director of transportation at the Caddo Parish School where the five-year-old is a student blames drivers who are distracted by texting, phone calls or other factors for incidents of this nature. He believes that if Bill 379 passes, it will reduce the vulnerability of students who are exiting the bus. No matter if the bill passes though, Jones hopes that drivers will remember to be cautious when in the vicinity of a school bus and to always stop when the bus stops to let children off or on.
In Louisiana, drivers must stop from either direction for a school bus stopped for loading and unloading children and that is displaying or has recently displayed the stop signal arm. The rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a highway with a divider, such as a median.
It is important that drivers obey the rules of the road, especially when in or around school zones and school buses.
If your loved one has been hurt due to a driver who failed to obey the law or behaved recklessly behind the wheel, contact our experienced car crash lawyers. We can review your claim for free and help you make sense of your legal options.