Study of Atlanta School Bus Safety Reveals Children Might Not Be as Safe as Parents Think


February 13, 2013

Parents in Atlanta and across Georgia entrust their children to the care of school bus drivers every day. A new report from 11 Alive suggests that the sense of security that many parents have in school bus safety is misplaced.

The study involved a review of traffic violations and red light cameras in the five school districts in the Atlanta area: Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Atlanta public schools.

The report found a wide range of unsafe driving practices, including the following:

• Running red lights

• Speeding including in school zones

• Motor vehicle collisions

• Following too close

The findings were somewhat of a mixed bag with a relatively small number of violations given the miles traveled, but the investigation also revealed plenty of room for improvement. During the eight month period of the study, DeKalb County bus drivers were cited for 53 violations while Atlanta public school buses were involved in 33 motor vehicle collisions. While statistically these numbers are fairly low when compared to private vehicle owners, there were drivers that received multiple citations within a period of only a couple months.

If your child is injured in a school bus accident, you may have a legal claim for damages against a variety of parties depending on the cause of the school bus accident, such as, by way of example only, the:

• School district

• Manufacturer of the bus

• Independent maintenance companies

• Company that provides faulty bus component parts

• Negligent drivers of other vehicles

• Public entities for unsafely designed or maintained roadways

School boards are required to obtain insurance on school buses that transport kids to and from school. Georgia law specifically requires school boards to carry insurance that covers children for bodily injury or death caused by a collision involving a school bus. Some provisions of insurance policies have been interpreted by Georgia courts as providing "no fault" coverage to school children hurt in busing accidents. This means that you do not need to prove negligence by the school or bus company to recover reasonable medical or funeral expenses.

However, these provisions must be differentiated from those that provide full coverage when negligence of the school board is established, such as where unsafe drivers or buses are used. It is always best to have an experienced Georgia school bus attorney represent an injured child and his or her family to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Our experienced Atlanta school bus accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.