Winston-Salem School Bus Accident Injures 14 in Two-Bus Collision with a Passenger Vehicle

A recent bus accident in Winston-Salem ended in 14 people being injured after a car hit two buses carrying high school band students.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the accident was allegedly caused by 1998 Honda Accord, which reportedly crossed the centerline before hitting the first bus head-on. Upon impact the bus swerved and ran into a tree. The vehicle spun out of control and hit a second bus before landing on an embankment along the side of the road. 655548_school_bus_red_light.jpg

Six people were treated and released right at the scene while 8 others had to be transported to area hospitals. According to police officials, no injuries were life-threatening.

Gastonia child injury lawyers know that school buses are one of the safest modes of transportation. But this accident could have easily been fatal considering the chain of events that occurred. Thankfully, the injuries were minor. Motorists who become distracted or violate laws geared towards school bus safety are at serious risk of injuring or killing a child.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol was recently focused on nabbing motorists ignoring stop arms or other traffic violations in school zones in an effort to reduce school bus collisions.

NC Crime Control & Public Safety announced Operation Stop Arm during the week of October 17 – 21 to get motorists to follow the rules or else be hit with a hefty citation.

North Carolina law prohibits passing a stopped school bus for any reason. Passing a stopped school bus is a Class 1 demeanor, and if convicted, can result in five points added to a violators’ driver’s license and up to a $200 penalty. If a driver hits someone while passing a stopped school bus it is considered a Class I Felony and if the person dies it is considered a Class H Felony.

The Nicholas Adkins Safety Act provides help to law enforcement officials by allowing school buses to capture on film when a motorists neglects the law, which can be used as evidence later to prosecute stop arm violators in a trial.

Some school buses have recently had cameras installed on the outside to help capture video footage of the violation. The bill was named after a 17 year-old student who was killed in a school bus accident in 2009 when a motorist neglected to wait for an idle school bus to begin moving again.

The School Bus Safety Center provides frequently asked questions and safety tips to parents and children about how to avoid potential injury in a school bus-related accident.

Motorists who aren’t familiar with the North Carolina School Bus Stop Arm Law should become educated by visiting online. Knowing and obeying the law can reduce the risk of child injuries and prevent severe consequences faced if you pass a stopped school bus in North Carolina.

If you or someone in your family has been involved in a school bus accident in Winston-Salem, Asheville, Gastonia or the surrounding areas, contact the bus accident attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case today.

Additional Resources:
State/Local Briefs: Two school buses, car in wreck; 14 injured, by Journal Now Staff, Winston-Salem Journal.

More Blog Entries:
Back to School Puts Children at Risk for School Bus Accidents in Asheville, Statesville, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 13, 2011.

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