Four students were killed in school bus danger zone incidents in the U.S. during the 2014-15 school year, according to newly released data.
That total is the lowest in the 45 years on record. The national loading and unloading fatality statistics are collected annually by the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDOE’s) School Bus Safety Unit.
Previously, the lowest total on record was five fatalities, in the 2007-08 school year. Over the past 10 years, there has been an annual average of about 10 student deaths in the school bus danger zone.
In the 2014-15 school year, three students were killed by vehicles passing their school bus. One student was fatally struck by his own bus.
Here are details on those four danger zone incidents from the KSDOE report:
• In Pennsylvania, a 16-year-old female was crossing the roadway to load onto her bus. The bus had the stop arm and eight-way lights activated. An oncoming vehicle did not stop. The vehicle struck and killed the student.
• In Kentucky, a 10-year-old male had unloaded from his bus and proceeded to walk down the embankment beside the roadway. The student then walked back onto the road and was struck by the right rear dual wheels of the bus as it pulled forward.
• In New Mexico, a 7-year-old male had unloaded from his bus. The bus stop is off the traveled portion of the roadway, and the bus did not have its stop arm and eight-way lights activated. The student ran across the roadway in front of the bus and was struck by a passing vehicle.
• In Arkansas, a 12-year-old female had unloaded from her bus and was crossing the roadway. The bus had the stop arm and eight-way lights activated. An oncoming vehicle did not stop. The vehicle struck and killed the student.
The KSDOE school bus loading/unloading report is a collection of fatality accident records provided by the state agencies responsible for school transportation safety and/or accident records. On-board fatalities are not included.
To view the full report for 2014-15 and previous school years, go to the KSDOE website.