News from the Miami Herald hit the headlines in November after a series of incidents involving children that lead to injury and death caused by negligent drivers plowing through school bus stops.
The petition sent to the White House is urging the federal government to step in and act swiftly to stop this horrific practice. The bus industry and associated safety companies such as School Travel Manager are working tirelessly to develop products and procedures to make school travel safer.
However, careless driving from other road users is causing so many problems that unless legislation is changed more fatalities will continue to happen on American roads in and around school bus stops and schools.
We the People
The petition was posted on the We the People platform and was entitled, Make Bus Stop Safety a Federal Law. It was put together on the last day of October after the tragic killing of three school children after a driver slammed into them as they were waiting at a school bus stop in Fulton County, Indiana.
The petition cites that many children are being injures or killed due to negligent and ignorant drivers running red lights on school buses.
Individual state laws are largely ineffective and typically have no significant penalty. We call upon our President and Congress to act by signing legislation that will keep our children safe by instituting severe penalties on (people) who choose to violate the red lights on a bus such as 30 days in jail, 90 day (driver’s license) suspension, 12 points on license and a mandatory minimum fine of $5000.00 for the first offense. This is the least we the American voters will accept.
State of Play
Two days after the creation of the petition there were three thousand signatures on the petition. The goal that is set is the magical one hundred thousand, and when this is achieved the federal government has to answer within sixty days.
The incident in Fulton County was not an isolated affair and the period between late October and early November was not a good time for American road safety. In Indiana, two six-year-old twins and their elder sister were killed when a car hit them.
A man was charged in Marietta after his car plowed down a nine-year-old student as he tried to board a school bus. And in Tampa, five children were hit at a school bus stop. The carnage did not stop here and there were other incidents during this bloody period on America’s roads.
This highlights that the greatest danger to school children is not riding the bus but getting on or off the vehicle, and waiting at bus stops. However, if the American drivers were forced by law as the petition wants them to be, to change their driver’s habits, this situation could be rectified swiftly.
The problem is that the enforcement of laws is difficult and expensive, and the flaunting of existing laws is a serious and widespread problem. The alternative of doing nothing is the continuation of carnage to American children.