Putting your child on a school bus may be the safest way to get your child to school. School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries. However, despite the heavy regulations placed on school buses, South Florida school bus accidents still happen.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2006 to 2015, there were 1,313 fatalities in school transportation-related crashes, or around 131 fatalities per year. A school transportation-related crash was defined as a crash that involved a school bus, or a non-school bus functioning as a bus, transporting children to or from school or school-related activities. There were 301 school-age children killed in school transportation-related crashes, 54 of whom were occupants of school transportation vehicles. In addition, of the school-age fatalities in school transportation-related crashes, most occurred between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. or from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reported there were 134,790 children involved in crashes in Florida in 2016. It also noted there was a 32 percent increase in fatalities from 2014. The DHSMV cautioned drivers to properly stop for school buses. As of July 1, 2017, a new Florida law took effect, the Cameron Mathew Act, which increases the minimum penalty for drivers who illegally pass a school bus, resulting in injuries or death.