Posted On: August 15, 2011 by Steven D. Eversole

Department of Public Safety asks Motorists to Drive Carefully to Prevent Child Injury in Alabama this School Year

August is a time when students get to strap on their new shoes and head back to school for another year. Our state troopers are reminding motorists to watch for students, whether it's near bus stops, residential neighborhoods or through school zones.

Alabama's Department of Public Safety asks that all motorists be super cautious around school buses. You're asked to stop when buses activate their lights. These yellow flashing lights are used to indicate that the bus is getting ready to pick up or drop off students. Red flashing lights and the bus' extended arm is used to alert drivers that the bus has come to a stop and that children are either getting on or off the vehicle. Motorists are required by law to stop their vehicle until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn to reduce the risks of child injury in Birmingham.

Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys would like to bring up Alabama's school bus stop law. This is the law that took effect back in October of 2006 that requires all drivers to stop when a bus is stopped to pick up or drop off students on any school property, private road, roadway or highway. Drivers that are on highways with at least four traffic lanes with a median dividing the lanes that allows at least two of the lanes to travel in different directions do not have to stop for a bus that is stopped on a lane that travels in the opposite direction.

“State troopers and local officers statewide will be watchful for any traffic violations in
the areas of school zones, bus stops and stopped school buses,” said Public Safety Director Col. J. Christopher Murphy.

Murphy provides the following safety tips to motorists in Alabama to help keep our bus-riding students safe this school year:

-Be aware of your surroundings when backing out of your garage and out of your driveway.

-Watch out for children in school zones, neighborhoods or anywhere where children may be waiting for a school bus.

-Keep it slow. Watch out for children that may be walking near the street, especially if there are no sidewalks.

-Be on the lookout for children that may be playing near a bus stop. Children may run out into the street without looking for oncoming traffic.

According to the National Safety Council, approximately 25 million students ride the school bus to and from school every year. A good number of these students are injured or even killed in traffic accidents during the school year.

In 2004, there were more than 130 people killed because of traffic accidents that involved a school bus. Another 11,000 people were injured in these incidents.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car or bus accident in Birmingham, contact Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers today at 1-866-831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Alabama Car Accidents: Choosing the Car that's Right for your Teen
, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, July 25, 2011

Two More Cities Move Forward with Red-Light Cameras Plans to Reduce the Risks of Alabama Car Accidents
, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, July 18, 2011

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