School Bus Driver Rules Increase Safety
The school bus remains the safest way for children to get to school. While thousands of Americans die in car accidents each year, relatively few accidents involve school buses. One reason for the low number of school bus accidents might be the special requirements Colorado school bus drivers must fulfill to transport children.
School bus drivers in Colorado must be at least 21. In addition, they also must meet the following requirements, known as school bus endorsements:
- Obtain a passenger endorsement that specifies the ability to transport 40 children;
- Have an annual driving record check;
- Have a specified number of pre-service bus training hours;
- Participate in an additional six-hour training course during every year of service;
- Pass an annual exam, both a written and practical road test;
- Obtain a first-aid certificate and keep it current;
- Pass a physical exam administered by the department of transportation.
In addition to these requirements, both schools and private companies must maintain buses to state and federal standards.
The Colorado DOT strictly enforces these rigorous standards. By comparison, a driver with a current license is required only to pay administrative fees for license renewal and have an occasional eye test. A driver in good standing is never required to pass any additional training or tests.
In the event of a school bus accident, liability for damages varies depending on the arrangement of the school and bus company. If the school itself hires the bus drivers, then the school district may be liable for damages. If the school district hires a private bus company to transport children, then there might be shared liability between the bus company and the school district.
In any event, if a child, driver, or passerby is injured in a school bus accident, the injured victims might have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. An injured plaintiff in a personal injury case may be awarded damages to pay medical expenses, damage to their vehicle, and other expenses, as well as damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. While fatalities involving school buses are extremely rare, they do happen. If you are involved in an accident, call a Denver injury attorney at the law firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P. C., at 303-792-5595 or contact us online today for your FREE Consultation.