How Dangerous Are West Palm Beach School Buses?
In December 2019, a teenager was struck and killed by a school bus in West Palm Beach, according to WPTV. This incident has prompted some residents to question student safety, especially while walking in the dark during the early morning hours.
According to investigators, the incident occurred when the student stepped into the crosswalk at the corner of Elmhurst and Haverhill roads. The bus, which had a green light, turned right into the intersection before striking the student. She became trapped underneath the bus and dragged a short distance. She later died at the hospital. There was reportedly no crossing guard on duty at the time of the incident.
The bus driver wasn't charged and still remains employed. He's not currently back on the road, however.
The community calls for later start times
"It was a dark rainy morning, we were just trying to get to my bus stop and I just saw a bus and ambulances and fire trucks blocking it off," said one student. "I think school should start a little later than 7:30 in the morning because a lot of kids have to walk or drive long distances just to get to their bus stops to get to school."
Following the incident, Palm Beach County School Board members discussed the possibility of delaying the start time for high school students to 8 a.m. at the earliest.
Board Chairman Frank Barbieri discussed how delaying the start time for high school students would yield several benefits. Among them is safety at bus stops and while walking in the morning.
“The high school kids that pick up the buses in the morning are standing in the dark, so it’s not a great situation anyway, so if we could start school later it would help them,” said Barbieri.
How safe are school buses?
Roughly four to six school-age children die yearly in school transportation incidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency says that school buses are the safest mode of transportation, however.
Parents and legal guardians should be able to trust that their kids will get to school and return home safely. When crucial safety measures aren't put in place to prevent injuries or deaths, responsible parties should be held accountable.
If you or your child was injured in a crash, West Palm Beach attorney David J. Glatthorn can investigate, present the evidence, and fight for fair compensation. Contact David J. Glatthorn, P.A. to discuss your legal options.