School bus safety is not the sole responsibility of Newark, New Jersey, bus drivers and bus passengers. Other drivers sharing the road are obligated to help maintain the school bus safety by stopping at least 25 feet away from a stopped school bus to allow passengers to safely enter or exit the bus. If this safety rule is ignored, the lives of the students might be in a great danger.

In Voorhees, New Jersey, a 17-year-old male student is the newest victim of a car accident. According to reports, the student was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street to board the school bus. The accident investigation confirmed that the school bus was using its red-flashing lights and stop arm when the incident happened.

The 80-year-old driver of the vehicle involved was driving in the direction opposite to the school and allegedly neglected to stop for the bus warning lights and stop sign. The vehicle dragged the victim for almost 50 feet before stopping. The victim was initially rushed to a local hospital and was later transported to a trauma hospital. He was in stable condition but suffered a head injury.

The driver has been charged with careless driving and improper passing of a school bus. A mandatory reevaluation of the suspect’s driving privileges will be performed as authorities continue to investigate the car accident.

It is illegal for New Jersey drivers to pass a stopped school bus. Improper passing of a school bus is punishable by fines, jail time and community service. In case of a pedestrian accident injury, however, a driver who fails to comply with school bus safety laws can face criminal charges and civil liability. Those liabilities may include the victim’s medical expenses, accident-related costs, rehabilitation and pain and suffering.

Source: CBS Local Philadelphia, “Driver, 80, facing charges after striking teen at school bus stop in Voorhees,” Jan. 21, 2014