California made it mandatory to have high-standard security features for school buses, as the lack of them put a large number of children’s life at risk. School bus accidents can be devastating as there will be small children involved which make the situation worse. Hence, the laws of California advise to take different safety precautions to avoid accidents involving school buses.
Following are some essential design and safety features that are made mandatory for school buses:
Yellow color: To make the school buses more visible, they are painted with specially-designed yellow color. This will make it easier for identifying school buses from other vehicles.
Reflective tape: These tapes are used to give better visibility for school buses in areas where there is poor visibility, or in adverse weather conditions. For example, during heavy rainstorms or in poorly lit high ways, the visibility will be normally less, and hence these special tapes will help other drivers to distinguish school buses. Usually, the tape will outline the buses’ circumference and emergency exits.
Markings: School buses should display “SCHOOL BUS” in capital letters in a large size on the front and rear windows in addition to their specific identification number and the name of the operating entity.
Warning lights: To enhance visibility and for getting traffic priority, most buses would install strobe lights on the roof. Other vehicles should not pass a school bus that is stopped if the warning lights are flashing.
Emergency exits: There should be at least one emergency exit in every school bus along with a quick-release latch. It can be installed anywhere based on the design of the bus including rear or side emergency exits to roof hatches.
Stop arms: These are stop signs that can be mechanically extended and are displayed on the left side of the bus. They are used to warn other drivers when the bus is stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading children. These stop signs should have flashing lights or light-reflecting properties.
Seat belts: Seat belts are essential to ensure the safety of children. This will help to prevent children from getting thrown away if the bus suddenly swerves or unexpectedly hits something.
Mirrors: Like other heavy vehicles, school buses also have blind spots. Hence, it is necessary to equip buses with advanced and large mirrors to avoid problems associated with blind spots.
Video cameras: Modern buses will be equipped with video cameras to monitor their insides and perimeter. These video cameras are helpful in identifying any potential danger in advance.
What to do in case of a school bus accident
If school buses fail to install these safety features, then it may lead to accidents. If your child gets injured in such an accident you can sue the bus operator or driver for showing negligence. A bus accident lawyer will help you to file a lawsuit for claiming the damages incurred by your child. A bus accident attorney can also help you to analyze the situation to decide who is at fault for the accident.