Danger zone deaths drop to 8

Posted on December 5, 2011
Eight children were killed in school bus loading and unloading accidents in the U.S. in the 2010-11 school year.
Image by James Kraemer,

Eight children were killed in school bus loading and unloading accidents in the U.S. in the 2010-11 school year.

Image by James Kraemer,

The number of children killed in school bus loading and unloading accidents in the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level since the 2007-08 school year, according to the Kansas State Department of Education's (KSDE) forthcoming national report.

The total of eight danger zone deaths in 2010-11 was a drop of more than a third (38 percent) from the previous school year's total, 13.

In 2010-11, four of the students were struck by their own school bus, and four were struck by a passing vehicle.

Of the students struck by their own bus, three were at the back, and one was at the front. Three of the buses were Type Cs (also known as conventionals); one was a Type D (transit style).

The loading/unloading report is compiled annually by KSDE’s School Bus Safety Education Unit. It is a collection of fatality accident records provided by the state agencies responsible for school transportation safety and/or accident records. Onboard fatalities are not included.

Six of the fatalities in 2010-11 were children under age 10: two were 6, two were 7 and two were 8. The other two students killed were between 10 and 17 years old.

Seven of the eight deaths were male students.

All of the accidents occurred in dry road conditions, with either clear skies (seven of the accidents) or cloudy skies (one).

Five of the accidents were in urban locations, while three were in rural areas. Two were in Georgia, and one each was in Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

The loading/unloading statistics have been collected since the 1970-71 school year. During that year, there were 75 danger zone fatalities, which is the highest total on record.

The report is described as an effort to alert individuals and organizations of the dangers involved in loading and unloading schoolchildren.

“Fatalities continue to occur at the bus stop, caused by a variety of circumstances and errors on the part of the school bus driver or passing motorist,” the report says. “It points out the continuing need for forceful, advanced instruction to school bus drivers and students, as well as the need to increase our efforts to thoroughly inform the driving public about the requirements of the school bus stop law.”

The 2010-11 report will be posted on the KSDE website, which also includes data from previous years.


Related Topics: danger zone, fatalities

Comments ( 2 )
  • P. Hinds

     | about 7 years ago

    Less we forget: Pennsylvania School Bus driver Frederick Poust III was allegedly caught on film by on-board video surveillance driving recklessly through stop signs while in route to Perkiomen Valley Middle School West.Poust reportedly collided with a passenger car, Feb. 17, 2010, after recklessly making a left hand turn into the school. A passenger in the other vehicle died and the driver sustained injuries. Five student passengers on the bus suffered emotional injuries. Poust ran through 10 stop signs before the fatal bus accident. Poust is reportedly charged with homicide by vehicle and 46 counts of reckless endangerment. Thur Aug 25,2011 Poust was sentenced to one to two years in the county prison also will have to serve a five-year probation sentence, perform 200 hours of community service and pay $21,153 in restitution. According to reports, Poust was involved in another fatal accident in 1999. Apparently, he ran through a stop sign while dialing his cell phone and smashed into another vehicle. A toddler in the car died. TWO DEAD AND 2 YEARS AND A 20,000 FINE. American Justice Upside Down.

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