There has been yet another Georgia school bus accident.   This accident occurred this week on Highway 166.  According to news reports, a pickup truck crashed into the bus.  The three occupants of the truck, including two children aged between three and five, sustained serious injuries, and had to be taken to the hospital.  There were about 22 students from the Jonesville Middle and Bowden High School on the bus.  Fortunately, none were injured. 

The bus was apparently stopped at a stop sign as the pickup truck approached the intersection.  The pickup truck driver was flashing his headlights, and the bus driver took this as a signal to enter the road.  What he did not know was that the pickup truck driver was flashing his headlights to warn incoming motorists of an accident that had just occurred nearby earlier that morning.  Unaware of this, the bus driver pulled into the road and the pickup truck struck the bus. 

Both the pickup truck driver and the bus driver have been charged.  The bus driver has been charged with failure to yield after stopping at a stop sign.  The pickup truck driver was cited for seat belt violations and not restraining the children in a moving vehicle.

This accident comes just a few weeks after a deadly crash between Temple and Carrollton.  That was a single vehicle wreck that ended with the bus flipping over and ejecting several students.  Both these accidents came just a few months after the Department of Transportation announced that it was proposing a rule requiring certain types of motor coaches, including charter and tour buses, to come equipped with seat belts.  However, school buses were not included in that list.  It's time for the federal administration to review the high risk of injury to school children when they are involved in a crash and bring school buses under the purview of any new seat belt rule.

Jason Schultz is an Atlanta bus accident attorney representing injured victims of bus accidents in and around Georgia.
First of all, as a former school bus driver, there is a reason why seat belts for students will never work. How do you effectively monitor and enforce every student wearing their seat belt? Second, in regards to the accident, the school bus driver is more at fault than the truck driver even though what he did was not very smart. When I was driving, we were taught to only obey the rules of the road, not ‘direct traffic’ or heed the gestures of another driver (i.e. motioning someone to pass, flashing your lights etc.).
by Clay Boggess October 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM
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