The Times Dispatch (a Virginia publication) recently reported that a 20-month-old child was killed in Virginia on Martin Avenue in Danville. The death was caused by a school bus for Danville Public Schools.
The paper also reported that a half million school buses carry over 25 million students daily nationwide. According to the AAA Foundation for Safety, 19 children are killed each year in a bus accident in Virginia. Thirteen of these children were not even on the bus – they were pedestrians. The report was written, in part, because the U.S. Department of Transportation analysis of accidents between 2003 and 2012 showed that there were over 340,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents. Out of that, 119 students (under 19 years old) were killed in school transportation accidents.
The Danville school system does require that each school bus driver have a valid commercial driver’s license (a CDL) and a Class B endorsement so the driver can be sure to know how to operate a bus with air brakes. Drivers must also complete a yearly physical exam, pass alcohol and narcotics tests, and must have classroom and hands-on training.
When a bus accident does happen, the accident must be reported within 5 days. The report must include the apparent reason for the accident, as well as reports of any personal injuries and property damage.
In the case of the 20-month-old who was tragically killed, the cause of the accident was still being investigated. The thoughts of everyone at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., go out to those affected by this tragic case.