Over 1500 Ohio School Bus Accidents Occurred in 12015 Involving Student Injuries, Which is Up From 2014 School Bus Crash Reports
There’s no better time to remember the children’s song about the wheels of a bus going round and round than when school is about to start. Each year, thousands of school buses travel Ohio roads and highways transporting children to and from school, to field trips and athletic games. Unfortunately, this continual movement provides an opportunity for Ohio school bus accidents to occur every day.
Reports have identified that Ohio school bus accidents happened more in 2015 than they were the previous year, according to statistics from the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS). School buses were involved in 1,590 traffic crashes, a slight increase from 1,571 in 2014. Among the total were 282 school bus accident injuries in 2015, that’s down slightly from the previous year’s figure of 288. ODPS figures also show that school buses were not involved in any fatal crashes in 2015 compared to 2014 when school buses were involved in eight fatal crashes.
[publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2015CrashFacts.pdf, ODPS, 2015]
[publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2014CrashFacts.pdf, ODPS, 2014]
More Than 100 Fatalities Occur Annually In School-Transportation-Related Crashes
School bus accidents are not just a concern in Ohio, but across the country. From 2005 to 2014, there were 1,191 school-transportation-related crashes resulting in the deaths of 1,332 people of all ages, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is an average of 133 fatalities a year, the NHTSA says. Of the total number of fatalities, 304 were school-age children who were either occupants of school transportation vehicles, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. Only one child was a non-occupant of a vehicle.
[crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812272, NHTSA, May 2016]
Back To School Tips For Motorists
The number of Ohio school bus accidents may be reduced this year – and fatalities avoided all together – if motorists follow state laws and Back To School tips offered by the National Safety Council:
• Do not pass a school bus that stops to load or unload children.
• Traffic in both directions on undivided roadways must stop for a school bus. In Ohio, drivers do not have to stop for a school bus that approaches from the opposite direction on a divided highway with four or more lanes.
• Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.
• Stop your vehicle far enough from the school bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus. The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit.
Ohio drivers who violate state school bus safety rules laws face a fine of up to $500, possible suspended license and mandatory court appearance. Rather than place yourself in jeopardy of violating Ohio laws, pack your patience as you drive around town this year and be wiling to share the road with school buses and their student passengers.
[education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Finance-and-Funding/School-Transportation/School-Transportation-Safety/Ohio-Pupil-Transportation-Operation-and-Safety-Rul/OperationandSafetyRulesFinal2013.pdf.aspx, Ohio Department of Education, July 2013]
[asirt.org/Portals/0/ENewsletters2012/10_12_October2012/Back_to_School_Safety_Tips_for_Motorists.pdf, National Safety Council]