Not only is it important to look out for other cars while you’re behind the wheel, but you also need to keep your eye out for pedestrians – particularly children. Children are small, so often can’t be seen easily, and they can move quickly without warning.
First of all, avoid distractions when you are driving! Don’t text – and if you must talk on the phone, use a hands-free device. Make sure you eat your snacks and apply makeup at home before you get into your car. Driving requires all of your attention.
Watch for children who are waiting for school buses in the morning. From experience, we know that children can sometimes dart across the road following a ball or playing with others, oblivious to traffic. Children sometimes dart into the road at a bus stop, and get excited easily. When entering a School Zone, obey the listed speed limit.
School Buses require your special attention
- According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), approximately 24 children are killed in school bus accidents in an average year. Very few of these fatalities occur on the bus. One-third of fatalities occur when a child is struck by a school bus in the loading/unloading zone, one-third are struck by motorists who fail to stop for the school bus, and one-third are pedestrians who are killed as they approach or leave the school bus stop.
- It is absolutely illegal to pass a stopped school bus loading or unloading children. Ignore flashing red lights and an extended stop sign arm at your peril. Colorado law states that: “Upon meeting or overtaking from either direction a school bus that has stopped, a motor vehicle driver must stop at least 20 feet before reaching the bus and not proceed until the visual signal lights are no longer being used.” School bus drivers actively enforce the state law. They can take down your license plate, descriptions of the driver, and report you to the authorities.
The fine for this dangerous behavior is up to $300, a mandatory court appearance, and six points on your license. A second offense within a five-year period will cost $1,000.
When it comes to our children, the most important advice is to be alert. As a driver, it is our responsibility to be aware of our surroundings. Our cautious and careful driving can save a life!
If your child has been injured due to a driver’s careless or negligent action, contact one of the experienced Colorado personal injury attorneys at McDivitt Law Firm’s. Call toll free (877) 846-4878, or click here to fill out a free case evaluation form. Remember, your initial consultation is absolutely free, and you do not owe us a fee until we collect money for you.