school students school busIt’s September already, and the kids are back in school. When you put your children on a school bus, you are entrusting their safety to the driver, an employee of the city. You are also trusting other drivers to know and follow the laws relating to approaching and passing school buses. 

Take Extra Precautions 

All drivers traveling in both directions are required to stop for a school bus when it is stopped for passengers, except for drivers on a four-lane divided highway traveling in the opposite direction of the bus. Unfortunately, not all drivers pay attention to the laws and may try to pass the bus to save time, or just not notice that the bus is stopped at all. The risk of an accident can be reduced by teaching your children to look both ways when exiting the bus, and not to assume that traffic will be stopped.

Extra caution is also advised if your child rides to school in a vehicle that is not clearly marked as a school bus. Drives are not required to stop for other vehicles, even in school zones, so carpool drivers should be on the lookout for oncoming traffic at all times. 

Who’s Responsible For a School Bus Driver? 

Suppose that the driver of the school bus is the one responsible for an accident. Since the driver is a city employee, you may have a claim against the city government. The North Carolina Tort Claims Act governs lawsuits against all governmental agencies and permits lawsuits only if a city employee was negligent while acting within the scope of their employment. Therefore, if a school bus driver fails to stop at a red light, or causes an accident while speeding, the city may be responsible.

If the bus driver was intoxicated or driving the bus on their own time, those actions may be considered outside of their scope of employment, and the municipal government may deny responsibility.  The bus driver should have personal automobile insurance that will cover them in an accident that is not within the scope of their employment. The procedure for filing a claim against a governmental agency can be tricky, so seek the advice of an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law, but is also familiar with the jurisdiction where the accident took place. 

Contact Campbell & Associates Law 

We all want our children to be safe; but when an accident does happen, you need an experienced Hickory law firm on your side. The attorneys at Campbell & Associates can help identify who is responsible for the accident and make sure you get the help you need when your child has been injured. We understand how difficult it is when a child is hurt, and we will treat you and your family with compassion and dignity while pursuing justice. 

Contact us today for a free consultation at 704-326-7243.