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Hamilton, NJ, November 5, 2018- School bus related crashes claimed the lives of five children and hospitalized six other students last week in five separate crashes in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Mississippi, and Florida. These preventable crashes serve as a somber reminder about the importance of school bus safety.
Motorists need to be particularly diligent about slowing down, avoiding distractions and staying alert during the morning and afternoon hours when school buses are more likely to be on the road, reminds AAA.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road, keeping your child safer while traveling to and from school than traveling by car.
“The greatest risk to your child is not riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It’s important that parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other safety advocates join forces to build awareness of the importance of school bus safety.”
Every day, about 500,000 school buses transport more than 23 million students to and from school. However, each year, nationally, about 24 school aged children are killed in school transportation-related traffic crashes.
“In addition to following the rules of the road, motorists are also reminded to put away phones and other distractions to keep focused on the road as buses can stop and start frequently, picking up and dropping off students,” Noble added. “Changing weather conditions and shortened daylight hours can make for particularly dangerous situations.”
AAA offers these tips for students taking the bus and for motorists sharing the road:
While Waiting at the Bus Stop
Getting On and Off the Bus
For motorists, being caught behind a school bus can be frustrating and may require additional patience at times. It is important to know that all 50 states have laws surrounding school bus safety and ignoring those laws can result in hefty fines. AAA’s Digest of Motor Laws provides information on each state’s law related to buses.
In New Jersey, there are two rules to remember about traveling on the roadways with buses:
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and nearly two million members in New Jersey.AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visitwww.AAA.com.
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