Recently, Hampton Roads and elsewhere in northern Virginia have seen an uptick in crashes involving school buses, with many districts affected by a shortage of drivers over concerns of poor conditions and pay.
Police in Portsmouth reported that a 6-year-old girl was injured after a school bus struck her last Friday at Piedmont Avenue and Lincoln Street.
The child was reportedly talking and alert after the incident. The bus was traveling at a low speed when the child ran out in front of the bus. The girl was knocked to the ground and hit her head, and as a precaution was taken to an area hospital.
The crash comes after last month's Norfolk accident involving a Granby High School bus on an I-64 ramp and raises concerns about driver safety. Every year, roughly 17 children die in accidents involving transportation, with most accidents occurring between 7 and 8 am and 3 and 4 pm.
Be sure to talk with your child about proper safety precautions when riding, entering an exiting their school bus.
Always be sure the bus has stopped completely before entering or exiting. Never walk closely behind the bus, since blind spots could make your child invisible to the driver. Check to make sure other drivers have come to a complete stop before crossing the road, and only after the bus driver signals, it is safe to do so.