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New Jersey School Bus Crash

New Jersey School Bus Crash

A New Jersey school bus crash has parents and the community seeking answers. How could this happen? Who is responsible? This article will help shed some light.

New Jersey School Bus Transportation

School buses provide transport to and from school. They also provide transport to school team sports events, field trips, and more. School buses are usually hired through an outside contractor. The contractor provides drivers and buses. When the school bus driver doesn’t obey the rules of the road, people get hurt. Who is responsible when a New Jersey school bus crash leaves children injured?

new jersey bus crash - student on bus

Are Schools Responsible?

Schools have a certain obligation to provide safety for our children. When hiring a transportation company, the company must perform checks on their drivers. Drivers must undergo training to drive a bus. Schools rely on the transportation company to fulfill their contract obligations. Usually, the responsibility falls on the transportation company.

School Bus Transportation Company

A school bus transportation company forms a contract with schools. They agree to provide skilled drivers and safe transportation. The company promises to perform background checks and safety training for their drivers. When they fail to do so, they are responsible for any injury.

School Bus Driver Safety Training

Bus drivers should already understand the rules of the road. School bus drivers already have a driver’s license. Additionally, they need to have passenger and school bus license endorsements. They must also be 21 or older. School bus drivers need training on how to drive safely with our precious children. Read more on the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code website.

children in school class

A Recent Story From My Own Experience

I chaperoned with many other parents on a recent field trip. There were so many eager parents, that many of us drove our own cars. While following the school bus on the highway, we came to the exit we should have taken. The bus driver was beyond the point to turn off the exit safely. When she realized she was about to miss her exit, she braked and made a hard turn. She swerved over. Then, she drove the bus over the shoulder, gravel, and some grass to cross into the exit. This was extremely unsafe.

I was well behind and watched this unfold. There were cars and a dump truck on the exit ramp that braked and swerved to avoid a collision. Had anyone not been paying attention, our fun field trip would not have happened. I spoke with the bus driver when we reached our destination. And I also reported it to the school.

New Jersey School Bus Vs Dump Truck

Recently, a New Jersey school field trip was struck by tragedy. Video evidence shows a school bus driver pulled into a “No U-Turn” section of the highway median after crossing three lanes of the highway. While attempting to make an illegal u-turn, the bus was struck by a dump truck. The school bus was loaded with children and teachers. One teacher and one student died. Forty-five students were injured. Following this story brings chills at how close my own child came to being injured, or worse.

Safe driving dictates to obey the rules of the road at all times. Missing (or almost missing) an exit means continuing on to the next safe exit. This bus driver made an unsafe decision. That bad decision cost two people their lives and injured forty-five students.

This school bus crash is likely a result of poor safety training. The transportation company should train and re-train drivers. Bus drivers need to drive safely at all times. The transportation company should also routinely audit their drivers. Public records show the driver of the bus has a history of vehicle safety violations. Additionally, his license has been suspended fourteen times. After an investigation, police have charged the bus driver with two counts of vehicular homicide.

empty new jersey school halls

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

If you witness unsafe school bus driving behavior, report it to the local school and the bus company. Remember the school bus number to help identify the driver. It’s understandable we don’t want to get anyone in trouble at their job. But, imagine your children are on that bus. Imagine the moms and dads commuting to work who could have died.

School Bus Crash Questions

After a school bus crash, parents have questions. Why did this happen? Who will pay the medical bills? Should I sign this to get the bills paid? How long do I have? You’re likely to not get answers from the school or transportation company. If you do get them to pay the medical and hospital bills, they probably want you to sign something first.

New Jersey School Bus Crash Lawyer

We have experience with a lot of transportation injury cases. We know most injuries take time to heal. Time and visits to the doctor. Ongoing medical care means more bills. What is the total cost of the injury? A lawyer can help you understand the costs. A free consultation can help you understand your legal options. We can help you find what help is available.
Kane & Silverman helps people, like you, who have suffered an injury because of someone else. Call or text us (215-232-1000) anytime for help. We offer free and confidential consultations. Get free answers to your questions. Understand your options. Or, fill out our online contact form and a member of our legal team will contact you.