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Tragic crash prompts state to review school bus laws

School bus accidents are prevalent throughout the entirety of the fall season. Though you would think more would occur more in September as many are adjusting to buses being on the road, they continue to happen due to the negligence of certain drivers, the changing seasonal conditions or sometimes both. Last weekend’s daylight savings will certainly throw many motorists off and could put several people in danger.

Recently, one family suffered significant losses thanks to the recklessness of one driver. This terrible incident is inspiring Indiana lawmakers to examine the state’s laws on school bus stops. Residents can also learn from this crash on proper school bus safety laws before they head out on their commute.

Three preventable deaths

On Tuesday, October 30, four children in Fulton County were crossing the highway when their bus stopped to pick them up. A young, female motorist driving from the opposite direction failed to see the bus’s safety arm extended and crashed into the four of them. Three children (all siblings) died while medical assistance airlifted the fourth kid to a hospital. Authorities charged the driver with reckless homicide and illegally passing a school bus.

On state highways, cars that are both behind and in the opposite direction of the school bus must stop once the bus extends the safety arm if they are on a two-lane or multi-lane paved across highway. If there is a grassy or concrete barrier between the two sides, cars going the opposite direction do not have to stop. Those that fail to follow the laws could receive fines up to $10,000.

The state’s response

As the deaths of the three siblings making statewide headlines, Indiana lawmakers have been reevaluating the state’s various school bus laws to improve street safety measures. Some consider having the state’s buses install mandatory stop-arm cameras to record illegal passers, while others are petitioning to prohibit buses from requiring the children to cross highways with 55 mph speed limits.

Regardless if any laws stem out of this incident, this serves as a gruesome reminder for state motorists to be more careful towards buses on the highways. Now that the air is getting cooler and there is less sunlight out, the chances of hitting a child or any pedestrian on the street just increased. Those who are injured by a reckless driver during their morning or evening commute should consider taking legal action against them to receive proper compensation for their personal injury.