By: Leslie S. Harkavy, Esquire
With the end of summer comes the start of a new school year. Kids decked out in their shiny new sneakers, backpacks and lunch boxes, eagerly anticipate meeting their new teachers and seeing their old friends. There is anticipation in the air as this year’s journey begins. As parents, most of us like getting back into a routine and having just a little more free time to call our own. We are curious and a bit anxious for our children on these first few days of school. These are picture-taking moments. So, it was no surprise that a mom in Texas was waiting for her young daughter at the school bus stop with phone in hand and was ready to video her daughter as she exited the school bus. This was a special moment.
Instead, she witnessed and recorded a parent’s worst nightmare. The school bus stops with its lights flashing and stop sign extended. Her daughter exits the bus. A driver ignores the signals and flies by the school bus just as this little girl is about to enter the street. The Mom is recording all of this and screams for her daughter to wait. Luckily, the car passes by and the little girl is safe from harm. The mom is shaken and visibly upset. It was a near miss. No tragedy this time. Life continues for this little girl and her family.
The Mom has a video clearly showing the license plate. At the very least, she expected a citation to issue against the driver that almost destroyed her family. But Houston police tell her that they can’t do anything. Why? Despite the fact she has the plate number and vehicle, the driver could not be identified that was behind the wheel. Hopefully, the driver saw on the news- the car flying by the bus and ignoring the stop sign and flashing lights, and hopefully learned a valuable lesson.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, an estimated 6227 pedestrians were killed in 2018, an increase of 250 from 2017. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 41 percent since 2008 and now account for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities. Some of the factors contributing to this increase include America’s growing love affair with pickups, SUV’s and cross over utility vehicles. Pedestrians are being struck by bigger, heavier and more powerful vehicles. The report also blames people being distracted by smartphones and not being focused on the road as contributing to pedestrian fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, non-intersection locations and at night. In 2016, 1 in every 5 children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms what our common sense tells us: higher vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car and severity of injury.
This mother’s story and video of her little girl is a reminder to both drivers and pedestrians alike about the importance of safety and remaining vigilant with our children back in school. Obey traffic signals, stop for school buses, and pay attention. We wish all students a safe and happy return to school!
When a pedestrian is injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, a thorough investigation of the accident is necessary to determine the cause of the collision and secure important information. As a victim of a pedestrian accident, make sure everything is done to protect your interests. The lawyers at Nadeau Harkavy LLC help victims and their families recover damages for their losses in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from pedestrian accidents. If you have any questions about your legal rights relating to a pedestrian accident, wrongful death or other accident, feel free to contact us for a free consult today at 617-674-7640.