Just like the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes a photograph can give a shot in the arm to a safety initiative that a lot of talking can't quite muster.
As we reported last week, South Carolina passed legislation that authorizes the use of stop-arm cameras on school buses to capture footage of vehicles passing illegally.
One interesting detail in the journey of the stop-arm camera measure through the legislative process is the role that a photo played. Bill sponsor Sen. Thomas Alexander showed the shocking picture to other legislators to help galvanize support for the bill.
The photo, provided to SBF by a spokesperson for Alexander and included above, shows the aftermath of a stop-arm running incident in Cherokee County, S.C., in May. A motorist passing a stopped school bus struck and seriously injured a teenage student.
In the photo, the force of the vehicle striking the teenage girl is powerfully depicted by the position of two items: the girl's shoes and backpack.
Her shoes, which she was apparently knocked out of, were left lying in the road. Her backpack, incredibly, was thrown all the way onto the roof of the bus.
For those who aren't already convinced that stop-arm running is a dangerous problem, this photo should quickly change their minds.
— Thomas McMahon, executive editor