Florida School Bus Accident Highlights Safety Measures

According to Florida local news reports, a school bus overturned on Interstate 10 on May 28, 2008. The vehicle accident occurred in Santa Rosa County.

In total, there were 21 people on the bus, 17 students and 4 adults. One student and one adult suffered serious injuries, and had to be airlifted. The remaining occupants were also taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

An SUV was involved in the accident.

Florida Seat Belt Safety

Seat belts are known to save lives. In most states, it is mandatory that vehicle occupants wear safety belts at all times. According to the Florida Department of Transportation website, all front seat occupants must wear safety belts and anyone under the age of 18 must wear a safety belt, regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle.

Although it is Florida state law that newly purchased school buses have safety belts installed, there is no law that requires students to wear safety belts on school buses. Currently, school officials may only educate students on seat belt safety and suggest that they wear them.

Florida Pedestrian Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working with the Florida Department of Education to advocate a toll free number that citizens can use to report motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. According to Florida law, it is illegal for a person to pass a stopped school bus which displays a stop signal. The only time in which a full stop is not required is if the school bus is on the opposite side of a divided highway which has a physical barrier.

In 2004, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles released an analysis of five years worth of data regarding school bus accidents. According to this data, there were an unusually high number of children hit while outside of the school bus. In the five year period, 53 children were hit, resulting in 14 serious injuries and 4 fatalities. The high number of injured children is attributed to the negligence of passing motorists who failed to stop.

Driving Responsibilities

Failing to yield to warning signals made by school buses may result in the serious injury or fatality of a child. Orlando car accident attorneys and Orlando personal injury lawyers are working on cases that will hold negligent vehicle drivers responsible for serious injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents.