Today, yet another school bus accident. As an author and a mother, I can’t help but wonder whose driving our children? Is it the drivers to blame? Is it the school bus laws to or lack thereof to blame? Statistics show an enormous rise in school bus crashes across the nation, and the fatalities of those outside the bus like other vehicles, and pedestrians are even higher.
Driving accidents, in general, are at an all-time high and it is time we look at the obvious culprits. Since the rise of smartphones, people are glued to their devices while walking, eating, talking, driving, and even during sex. Has this world gone mad? Maybe. Today more than ever, society has become less attentive. When it comes to smartphones, mindfulness seems to lose out.
School bus accidents are investigated all of the time. Seat belt laws are put into effect. But what about smartphone laws while driving school buses? We all know that we are not supposed to talk on a handheld device or text while driving. But how can we ensure that the person who is driving our children are not using their smartphone in any capacity beyond navigation? We can’t unless laws are put in place banning smartphones altogether, and enforcing stiff penalties when violated, including but not limited to job termination.
Perhaps we need to consider stiffer cellphone penalties for drivers in any motor vehicle. Cars, trucks, and unmindful pedestrians are just as guilty of causing school bus accidents in the past while using a device. Last year I witnessed a pedestrian with her face glued to the phone while crossing the street. The light was green and it resulted in a bus accident where the pedestrian breathed her last breath. If you can imagine, this was not a happy ending for anyone involved. Tragic.
School bus accidents are occurring across the nation and it is time to find out whose driving our children and what additional laws can be put in place for drivers in general. Just an hour ago, there was a news flash that came across my desk. “Breaking: A school bus has overturned on ramp to Goethals Bridge in Elizabeth, New Jersey.” When will enough be enough before we all take responsibility as humans and realize that motor vehicles have the potential to be a weapon? It can kill. Wake up to life everyone, and be mindful of when you walk and when you drive. It can save your life.