by Scott Blumenshine
September 6, 2016, is back to school day for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. There will be approximately 396,000 students traveling to and from school every day. Some children will ride the bus, but to qualify for bus service, students must live at least 1.5 miles from school. This means that, in addition to some bus riders, children will be walking, riding bikes or being dropped off at school by their parents.
Whatever means the students use to travel to school, safety must be paramount. To this end, CPS has established a “Safe Passage” program with safety suggestions for students to follow based on the particular way in which they travel to and from school.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that riding the bus to school is the safest method of student transportation. Of course, bus transport is not completely free of risk. On average, eight students a year are killed just getting on and off the bus. Another four are killed in accidents the bus has with other vehicles. Bus-riding deaths may be prevented if drivers implement driver safety rules and if parents and children pay attention and follow the rules.
The CPS system has established its own rules for bus-riding students. Some bus riding rules are:
Students who live less than 1.5 miles from their school must walk, bike or get car rides to school. CPS recommends that students form a “Walking School Bus” program that works similar to a car pool. Kids walk in a group. Adults in the area take turns to ensure at least one parent walks each way with the students. Other recommendations for walking children include:
Along with its other safety recommendations, CPS has guidelines for students who ride their bikes.
Parents must follow the vehicle drop-off and pick-up rules of the school. Basically, stay in the established line, do not double park, jump the line or get out of your car. When the children get in the car, move on in the orderly established pattern. Don’t block traffic or get in the way of a school bus.
No matter how careful you and your children are, accidents may happen. If your child was injured traveling to and from school and you believe the injury was caused by the negligence of another, contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Meyer & Blumenshine for a free case evaluation.