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.
I wrote several weeks back about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget proposal and her ideas to help reduce traffic conditions downtown. Her idea to increase taxes on ride-shares in the downtown loop area passed this week by the Chicago city counsel when they approved the 2020 budget.
Lightfoot’s office foresee’s this tax revenue will raise $40 million for the city, which will then be used to improve the busing lanes that lead in and out of downtown. The entire purpose, according to Lightfoot’s office, is an attempt to decrease congestion in the downtown loop during peak rush hours. The increased downtown fees would apply between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., when traffic is worst. The rest of the time, trips downtown would have the same fees as the rest of the city.
The combined city taxes on a solo Uber, Lyft, of Via trip that starts or ends downtown will rise from 72 cents to $3. The taxes on a shared ride downtown would rise from 72 cents per trip to $1.25 per trip.
For the purposes of the congestion tax, the boundaries of downtown would be North Avenue from Lake Shore Drive to the north branch of the Chicago River, the north branch of the Chicago River from North Avenue to Grand Avenue, Grand Avenue from the north branch of the river to Ashland Avenue, Ashland from Grand to Van Buren Street, Van Buren from Ashland to Desplaines Street, Desplaines from Van Buren to Roosevelt Road, and Roosevelt from Desplaines to Lake Shore Drive.
Both Uber and Lyft have criticized this tax as they have stated it hurts low income passengers who need the app to travel downtown. This did not deter Lightfoot or the city council as the budget passed 37 to 11.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago CTA accident or Chicago truck crash, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
It has been almost three weeks since the fatal Amtrak train accident in Philadelphia and the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) is still trying to find answers. First, the NTSB is investigating whether the conductor was on his cell phone at the time of the derailment. The agency says investigators are comparing time stamps from engineer Brandon Bostian’s phone records with locomotive data, radio transmissions and surveillance video to see whether the phone was used while the train was in motion. Phone records show the phone was used to make calls, sent text messages and access data the day of the derailment, but it’s unclear when.
The NTSB is also reviewing what Bostian was doing the day before the train crash to determine if fatigue was an issue. The first leg of Bostian’s shift on May 12 was particularly grueling, union officials say, with equipment-related delays on his train to Washington shortening his rest break. A system displaying track signals on the dashboard failed, forcing Bostian to pay close attention while reducing speeds far below normal, according to Railroad Workers United. The train reached Washington 26 minutes late, leaving Bostian about an hour to rest, eat and use the restroom before his trip back to New York on the train that eventually derailed.
The NTSB is focusing all of its’ attention on Bostian at this point because he was alone at the controls at the time of the train accident. There’s no explanation for why the train went from 70 mph about a minute before the crash to 106 mph a few seconds before it left the tracks. Investigators say preliminary inspections found no problems with the track, the signals or the locomotive. They’ve also ruled out a bullet causing a grapefruit-size fracture on the locomotive’s windshield and say they’re uncertain whether anything struck the train.
This is an investigation I will be following closely as there appears, at this point, nothing faulty with either the train or the track. The focus is on the conductor. Was he on his phone or distracted some other way? Did he pass out or faint or have a seizure right before the derailment? Something needs to explain why the train increased in speed so rapidly. The families of the deceased and the injured will want answers. As do those who continue to ride Amtrak trains.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an Illinois train accident or Chicago CTA accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.