School is back in session across Boston and throughout Massachusetts, which means that school buses full of children are back on the roads each morning and afternoon as they are taken back and forth from bus stops and the school yard. As uneventful as transporting children should be, on occasion terrible incidents can occur regarding impatient motorists hitting kids who are getting onto or off the school bus. If your child was harmed or even killed following such an incident, contact an attorney from the Cambridge personal injury firm of Altman & Altman LLP today.
Stopping for school bus loading/unloading is the law in Massachusetts
If you are a motorist traveling in a vehicle and you come across a school bus stopping, accompanied by the stop sign arm extending from the driver’s side of the vehicle with lights flashing, it is your legal obligation to stop your vehicle and wait until the stop sign arm has retracted and the school bus continues forward.
Failure to stop in such a situation, or illegally passing by a school bus that has come to a stop to let children on or off the bus, can result in a minimum $250 fine. That fine can climb as high as $2,000 and also leave the perpetrator with a suspended license for a whole year.
School bus passing can have deadly consequences
The school bus stopping law is one that exists for very straightforward, good reasons. Kids as young as five years old utilize the school bus to get to school each day, and some must cross busy streets to do so. Ensuring that traffic has stopped on both sides of the road is the only way to make sure that they aren’t put at adverse risk of being struck by a vehicle, which at their age is always a potentially life-threatening accident to suffer.
According to a national survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), where 38 states and Washington D.C. responded to inquiries regarding how many school bus passing incidents occurred during a school year, as many as 15 million motorists will illegally pass a stopped school bus – which demonstrates how disturbingly common such an incident is, and how many children are potentially at risk from this reckless behavior.
Tragically, in just a six-month period between August 2018 and March 2019, 12 children were killed in the United States and another 47 injured as they simply tried to get on and off of their school bus. According to the NASDPTS study, 73 percent of the students killed over a 48-year period in the country were 9 years old or younger.
Nothing is more important than a child’s safety
No matter how late you are, no matter how badly you must get somewhere, nothing is worth getting into an accident where a child is severely harmed or even killed. Loved ones of a child who was injured by a motorist that ignored the law mandating stopping for a school bus would be entitled to pursue a litany of civil suit complaints versus the offender, especially if the driver clearly failed to stop while the school bus had its stop sign arm extended or was impaired or otherwise distracted behind the wheel.
With over 50 years of experience advocating for our clients, the expert personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP understand how difficult it can be for a family to pursue legal action while caring for a child who has been injured or even killed by a tragic accident. We will take care of the heavy lifting so you can be with your loved ones during this difficult time, and we can guarantee a high level of results regarding financial compensation that can help ease worries over medical expenses and time missed from being unable to work while you tend to your child.
Contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.