Children are transported to and from school and church related activities, every day. The U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. However, bus collisions can result in very serious injuries, or fatalities to bus occupants, pedestrians and to other motorists and passengers.
School bus collisions may be preventable. The cause of a bus collision may include negligence of the driver, who may be a private company employee or he or she may be an employee of a school district.
Other causes of bus collisions include negligent bus maintenance, an inexperienced driver, or improper driver training. Driver training may include transporting, assisting and monitoring special needs children.
If a governmental entity or school district owns or operates the bus, or employs the driver, then in Arizona an appropriate Notice of Claim may be necessary to successfully pursue a personal injury claim.
There may also be unsafe situations around a school bus when passengers are getting on or off the bus. The general rule in Arizona requires that when approaching a school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers, a driver must come to a complete stop before reaching the bus. A stopped bus may have alternating lights and a stop sign arm extended.
In Arizona, the speed limit is fifteen miles per hour approaching a school crossing. Further, a vehicle shall not proceed at a speed more than fifteen miles per hour between signs indicating that there shall be no passing, that school is in session, that the driver shall stop when children are in the crosswalk.