Over the coming weeks, children all over the state will be heading back to school, and that means motorists need to start looking out for school buses on the roads. Collisions involving buses carrying dozens of children can be devastating, but there are laws in place to reduce the risk of such accidents. Fortunately, these laws are effective—as long as everyone follows them.
For example, there are strict protocols that bus drivers must follow when dropping off or picking up children. Likewise, there are certain laws that motorists must follow when approaching or overtaking a bus.
Sadly, some motorists and even some bus drivers fail to follow these laws, and they cause devastating accidents as a result. If your child sustained serious injuries in a school bus collision because of a negligent driver, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm.
Our award-winning legal team will evaluate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and help you fight for the maximum payout. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with an auto accident lawyer in Alexandria.
When Do I Have to Stop for a School Bus in Louisiana?
According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, motorists must stop at least 30 feet from a school bus that is in the process of loading or unloading children, regardless of the direction in which they are traveling. Whether you are traveling behind the bus or meeting it from the other direction, you must remain stopped until the bus is no longer displaying its visual warning signals or until it begins to move again.
There are a few exceptions to these rules. For example, you do not have to stop if the bus is stopped in a loading zone that is not part of the roadway, as long as pedestrians are not allowed to cross the roadway.
Additionally, you do not have to stop if you are traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus on a divided highway. As long as there is a barrier or obstacle that prevents traffic from crossing over, you can continue driving.
How Can I Ensure My Children’s Safety When They Ride the Bus?
According to the National Safety Council, school buses are the safest way for children to travel, but as a parent, it is natural to worry about your kids regardless of what the statistics say. You can ensure your children’s safety by encouraging them to remain aware of their surroundings, especially when getting off the bus. Although motorists are required to stop for buses that are unloading, not all drivers do, so your children still need to look both ways before crossing the street.
If your children were injured in a school bus accident and you want to hold the liable party accountable, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm. We will investigate your case and gather evidence to prove negligence, liability, and the value of your damages.
Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free case evaluation with an injury attorney in Alexandria. You can learn more about school bus accident claims in Louisiana by visiting USAttorneys.com.