In the early morning hours of April 5, a school bus carrying as many as 25 children was knocked on its side in a collision in Lake County near the Illinois-Wisconsin border. At least one person was killed in the accident, but the coroner's office has not yet announced whether that victim was an adult or a child. An official speaking on behalf of the school believed that all the children on the bus suffered minor injuries. This can not yet be confirmed.
The accident happened around 8:15 a.m. on Route 173 near Wadsworth, Illinois, according to officials. The bus was on its side; a wrecked SUV and Jeep were nearby. At least a dozen ambulances responded to the scene, as well as a medical helicopter. Although we trust school buses to safely transport our kids, they actually have a poor track record when it comes to protecting passengers.
This latest bus crash is just one of many. In 2011, a Florida school bus taking elementary school students home collided with a tractor trailer, injuring a dozen children and killing a nine-year-old boy. In that crash, the Florida Highway Patrol discovered that the deceased boy had been wearing a safety belt, but it was too loose and allowed him to be thrown from his seat.
In September 2012, a Chicago elementary school bus crash injured 39 people when it collided with an SUV and flipped over. The previous week, fatal school bus crashes occurred in both Nebraska and Tennessee. Some states, like Florida, require school buses that transport public school students to be equipped with safety belts. But even that law only applies to new buses purchased after December 30, 2000. And Florida is one of the more regulated states—many states do not require any school buses to be fitted with seat belts.
You wouldn't consider putting your young children in a car without a car seat, let alone a safety restraint, yet the government tells you to trust your kids to school bus drivers operating vehicles without seat belts. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin believe more regulation of school busses is necessary to keep our kids safe.