The number of school bus loading and unloading fatalities dropped in 2022-2023, according to the latest survey released by the Kansas State Department of Education in tandem with the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
The survey, which saw participation from most of the United States, found three fatalities that qualified for inclusion in the annual report:
- Pennsylvania: As a 16-year-old girl crossed the road to board a bus with its stop arm extended and red eight-way lights activated, an oncoming vehicle failed to stop and struck the student. She died two weeks later from her injuries.
- Wisconsin: A bus stopped with its stop arm extended and lights activated. A vehicle approaching from the rear didn’t stop, tried to pass the bus on the right. The truck sideswiped the back of the bus, crossed onto the shoulder, and struck a 13-year-old girl as she waited to board the bus.
- New York: A 5-year-old boy running to catch the bus was in front of it when the bus pulled away from the stop. The student was struck and killed by the right front wheel of the bus.
The three incidents are down from six the previous year. All the fatalities occurred during the trip to school, on clear and dry days.
According to the survey, presented by Keith Dreiling, school bus safety director for the Kansas State Department of Education, 73% of the 1,267 fatalities in the past 53 years have involved students 9 and younger.
Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., declined to participate in the 2022-2023 survey.