The school year has started for a majority of school districts around the country. The Chicago Public Schools started back today. There will be thousands of school buses on the roads, shuttling kids to an from their schools. With the increased amount of people on the roads this time of year, it is important to consider the safety issues that go along with so many children being on or close to busy roadways.
(“NHTSA”) listed several safety tips on their website for parents and for drivers to consider regarding school buses.
Safety Starts at the Bus Stop
Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
Get On and Off Safely
When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
Use Caution Around the Bus
Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her.
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
- When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
- Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
- Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
I think it’s important for parents to have long talks with their children about these safety issues, especially if their unable to accompany their kids on and off the buses each day. It could prevent a serious injuries and potentially save a life.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago bus accident or Chicago CTA accident, then call the Chicago personal injury attorneys at The Bryant Law Group, LLC., for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Multiple news outlets, including Chicago Curbed, reported last week that Chicago’s new Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking decrease downtown traffic congestion with improvements to the CTA bus system and an overhaul of ride sharing laws.
First, the city announced a $20 million budget for the Bus Priority Zone Program. This budget aims to add additional bus-only lanes, queue jump signals, and better traffic light timing to some of Chicago’s highest ridership routes. These traffic improvements aim to remove slow zones, bottlenecks, delays, and bunched up buses that come one right after the other.
Safety improvements will make it easier to walk and bike to bus stops as well. Riders will notice new pavement markers, clearer street-level and overhead signs, safer bus stop locations with curb extensions and pedestrian refuge islands.
This is a huge step by the city’s Department of Transportation as it continues to battle ride sharing companies for ridership. The amount of congestion seen on our roads can easily pointed to the number of rideshare vehicle on the road. Commuters don’t mind paying a few extra dollars for an Uber or Lyft ride in order to avoid a packed bus that is constantly in traffic gridlock during peak rush hours. Why not attempt to improve buse rides with bus only lanes, which will then lead to a quicker commute. This will then lead to less congestion on the road which is decrases commute time and better for our environment.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago bus accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076
Those of us who use the CTA’s trains and buses around Chicago on a daily basis have been somewhat troubled by the slew of crimes that have occurred recently. There have been results of multiple robberies and muggings, especially on the red line, which is a north-south train line that runs from Howard Street on the northside all the way south to 95th Street. To help combat this issue, the CTA recently announced they will be installing 50 high definition (“HD”) cameras along train stops and buses throughout the area.
These additional cameras are part of the “Safe and Secure” multi-million dollar project, which, according to the CTA will be one of the most comprehensive surveillance camera networks used by a transit agency. When the upgrade is finished, there will be 1,000 new HD cameras throughout the CTA system and upgrading more than 3,800 older-model cameras across the system. CTA officials believe that if someone commits a crime on a train or bus, there will be a clear video of the incident and they will be caught.
This is money well spent by the CTA and good for the city. Commuters want to feel safe when heading to and from work or just visiting other parts of town. Further, tourists want to feel safe before they plan a trip to Chicago. Other than putting multiple police officers at every stop and on every train and bus, this seems like the most sensible way to combat crime on the CTA.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a Chicago train accident or Chicago bus accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) is trying to answer questions in the aftermath of the derailment in Philadelphia this week that killed 8 and injured hundreds others. What we do know, according to NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt, In the minute or so before the train crash, the train sped up from 70 mph until it reached more than 100 mph at a sharp bend where the maximum speed is supposed to be 50 mph. It’s unclear, Sumwalt said, whether the speed was increased manually by engineer Brandon Bostian. Investigators have found no problems with the track, signals or locomotive. Sumwalt said the train, on a route from Washington to New York City, was on time as it left the station in Philadelphia a few minutes before the crash.
Mr. Bostian, who is recovering from multiple injures after the train crash, stated that he does not recall anything from the time of the accident. He has refused to speak to police at this point, but did agree to a meeting with the NTSB, which will take place in the next few days.
I think it’s clear, at least from the early investigation, that the conductor negligently drove the train up to 50 mph over the speed limit. This is what appears to be the cause of the train derailment. The question remains whether the conductor did this accidentally, was he distracted or was there a malfunction with the equipment? These are answers the NTSB, the victims and the family of the deceased all want. I will be following this case closely in the coming days and weeks.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago train derailment or Chicago bus accident or suffered from a wrongful death, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076
Horrible news came in last night as an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia which killed 6 passengers and injured hundreds more. Multiple news outlets reported that the train, which was headed for New York, derailed at about 9:30 p.m. last night in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. Hospitals treated 200 passengers, with half of those being released overnight. Apparently one of those seriously injured in the train accident was the conductor.
The National Traffic Safety Board (“NTSB”) is currently investigating the cause of the train crash and spokesman said they would like to have some answers within the next 24 to 48 hours. CNN reported this morning that Investigators are seriously looking at speed as an issue in the crash. This is partly because of the angles of the train wreckage and the type of damage seen on its cars. To describe how violent the derailment was, an U.S. Department of Transportation representative stated that the engine and two cars were left standing upright, three cars were tipped on their sides, and one was nearly flipped over on its roof. The seventh one was “leaning hard.”
Among other things, authorities will examine the condition of the track and the train, how the signals operated and “human performance,” NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said. The speed limit in the crash area is around 50 mph.
There’s not much for me to add to this horrible event other than the NTSB and U.S. Department of transportation will and should perform a thorough investigation on the cause of this train derailment. News reports do not indicate there is anything glaring right now that would pinpoint the cause of this crash. Regardless, I think we can assume there will be multiple wrongful death lawsuits from the families and estates of the deceased and personal injury lawsuits from those who were injured. More importantly, the investigation will hopefully give us answers on how this happened and how this can be prevented in the future.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago train accident or Chicago bus accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
The Chicago Tribune reported this week that the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District (“NICTD”) was investigating a freight train accident that occurred Monday night that left commuters stranded for hours on the South Shore Line. A shipping container on a Canadian National freight train hit a bridge on Chicago’s South Side about 6 p.m., halting service on the South Shore Line. Passengers on eastbound trains during the prime commute hours were delayed by the accident.
Buses were dispatched for the commuters, but apparently it was impossible to board everyone in a timely fashion. The NICTD is specifically looking into response time to the derailment to determine if they could have re-routed the passengers in a quicker fashion.
The NICTD is also assessing how it sends out alerts to learn from the incidents. Its first alert at 6 p.m. described the delay as “mechanical problems.” Its fifth alert at 8:30 p.m. described the incident as a derailment. By 9:30 p.m., an alert said the trains were moving and track cleared.
Luckily the freight train accident did not result in any fatalities or injuries as there were no train collisions or derailments with any of the commuter trains.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago train accident or Chicago bus accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation.
There has been an update in the Chicago bus crash that injured 15 passengers as it approached O’Hare airport early Friday morning. According the NBC News Chicago, the bus driver was cited by Chicago police for failing to produce a valid license and failure to maintain her proper lane as she is alleged to have swerved into a median.
The failure to produce a license at the scene is not a serious charge as long as she can produce a valid license on her court date. If so, the ticket will be dismissed. The ticket for failing to stay in her proper lane will be more difficult to fight if the driver is unable to show there was an intervening cause for needing to swerve out of her lane. Further, pleading guilty to this ticket could be admissible as evidence of negligence in a civil case by the injured passengers. I think it is more than likely that we will see multiple civil lawsuits for personal injuries by the passengers against the bus driver and the bus company. I have not seen any news reports on who actually owns and operates this shuttle company. It is possible that a private company runs the shuttle, which is then hired by O’Hare airport. If that is the case, then both O’Hare airport and the shuttle company could be liable for the negligent actions of the bus driver. The owner and or employer are liable to the negligent actions of its employees if the actions were performed within the course and scope of their employment. This is referred to as respondeat superior.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bus accident or a Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
NBC Chicago, among other outlets, are reporting this morning that 15 passengers were injured during a shuttle bus accident on I-190 while heading in to Chicago O’Hare airport. Apparently the bus crashed into a median around 6:30 a.m. this morning, tossing passenger around in the bus. A total of 10 ambulances were called to the scene and 15 passengers were injured and taken to various hospitals around the city. Fire officials said four people were transported in critical condition, five in fair-to-serious condition, four in good condition and two people refused treatment.
Robert Gembala, another firefighter who also witnessed the crash, immediately rushed onto the bus and began assisting injured passengers.
“It was unbelievable what they did,” said firefighter Steve Siavelis, who was on the first fire truck to arrive at the scene.
Injuries varied, Sampey said, with passengers at the front of the bus experiencing the greatest impact.
“People were thrown around the bus,” he said. “Some were more critical than others.”
This is the second major accident that has happened in or around O’Hare this year. This Spring, a CTA blue line bus failed to stop when arriving at the airport and crashed up and over the tracks into an escalator. Several passengers were injured in that accident as well. Hopefully those critically injured this morning heal quickly and that there are no fatal injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bus accident or a Chicago CTA train accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.