For decades, school buses have served as reliable modes of transportation for children going to and from school, sports and extracurricular events or daycare. In recent years, however, the high numbers of bus accidents have caused national concern. And just as drivers of regular motor vehicles can become distracted by a number of factors, school bus drivers have also come into the spotlight in regards to the accuracy and safety of their driving. New York’s laws on driving safety help protect children from potential accidents, but the laws are continuously changing to best address the issue of distracted bus driving.
Binghamton News reports on the safety priorities and guidelines of New York’s school bus systems. The report covers basic safety procedures that parents, children and drivers can follow, and specifically warns bus drivers of the potential dangers of driving such large motor vehicles. Distracted driving can arise from many different external factors, but when a driver’s attention is not fully focused on the road, a multitude of issues can occur. Bus drivers must take special caution when starting routes by inspecting the vehicle for any mechanical damages, and they must remain alert during all stops and during the case of emergencies. Drivers must also inform children of proper safety procedures, should an accident occur.
School bus safety procedures may seem apparent, but the number of school bus accidents in recent years reflects the continuing problem of bus driver distraction in New York. United Educators produced a report on school buses and the danger of driver distraction in 2014. According to the UE, school bus accidents amount to 16 percent of the total number of all public school claims, costing more than $7 million in losses. The report also concludes that among the top distractions of bus drivers are reaching for fallen objects in the bus, talking to passengers and cell phone usage.