The Polk County pedestrian accident attorneys at Farah & Farah have long reminded motorists that it is their responsibility, by law, to stop for school buses when they have their stop signal arms deployed and warning lights flashing.
Unfortunately, the Lakeland Ledger reports that a motorist driving a van allegedly failed to heed those warnings and struck a seven-year-old girl who was crossing the street to board a school bus in Haines City. According to witnesses, the little girl was thrown several feet in the air by the force of the impact and landed on the pavement.
Although the girl suffered a concussion and a broken leg, she is expected to recover. A news release issued by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department stated it was a “miracle” that she survived the pedestrian accident. “We can’t stress it enough,” the release said, “You must obey traffic devices. They are there for a reason — to keep our children safe.”
Although the investigation is ongoing, police charged a 45-year-old Kissammee man with willful and wanton reckless driving, and cited him for ignoring the warning system on the bus.
The Polk County School District has been planning to mount cameras on school bus stop signal arms next month to help catch driver’s who violate school bus stopping laws. Statewide, bus drivers say that other motorists consistently violate the law, but usually get away with it because bus drivers don’t have the time to write down a violator’s automobile license number. The Polk County School District recently conducted a survey of 400 county school bus drivers who witnessed 290 violations of the law in just one day.
If a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent or reckless motorist, that driver should be held accountable for his or her actions. This holds true especially for drivers who choose to ignore laws designed to protect school children. If you have questions about your legal recourse after a pedestrian accident in Polk County, call Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555.