Everyday children and teenagers pile onto school busses. Whether it's just another regular day of class or a field trip or sporting event, parents and caregivers all trust the bus driver to carry their children safely to the desired destination. Driving a school bus is an enormous responsibility and should be treated as such.
But accidents do happen. A school bus accident recently occurred in Winlock, Washington. Luckily there were no serious injuries to children. The driver was uninjured as well but the events certainly had the potential to be much more tragic. The bus was carrying the local high school's soccer team home from a nearby match. Roughly 40 people were onboard at the time of the crash.
According to the Washington State Patrol, driver error is to blame for the crash and not brake failure. Apparently the bus driver was not paying attention when the bus ran off the road and down the side of an embankment. Officers stated that the bus driver will be ticketed for running a stop sign. The citation carries a fine of $175.
It is lucky that no one was injured. In accidents like this, where officers are able to pinpoint driver error or negligence as the cause of the crash, injured parties certainly have some legal recourse against the driver. Distracted driving, not paying attention, is negligent driving. All drivers have a duty and responsibility to pay attention to the road, but a bus driver carrying passengers certainly carries a higher degree of responsibility. If someone is injured as a result of a bus driver's negligence then the passengers or parents of the passengers would be able to seek recovery to help pay for medical bills and any other costs stemming from the crash.
Source: The Seattle Times, "WSP cites driver in Winlock school bus accident," Nick Provenza, April 16, 2013