School Bus Danger Zone Fatalities Drop

Published: December 29, 2006

TOPEKA, Kan. – The number of children killed in school bus loading and unloading accidents dropped by more than a third in the 2005-06 school year.

The total, 13, was 35 percent lower than that of the 2004-05 school year, which was 20. The latest number was also below the average of the past 10 years, 14.5.

The fatality statistics for the loading and unloading area – also known as the “danger zone” – are collected in an annual survey by the Kansas State Department of Education’s School Bus Safety Education Unit. Throughout the survey’s 36-year history, there have been 1,144 danger zone deaths.

During the 2005-06 school year, the following nine states reported danger zone fatalities: Alabama (one), Georgia (one), Missouri (one), New York (one), Pennsylvania (one), Texas (one), Virginia (three), West Virginia (two), Wisconsin (two).

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Seven children were killed by their own bus, while six were killed by a passing vehicle. Of the seven killed by their own bus, at least six were struck by the bus’ dual rear wheels; in the other incident, the part of the bus that struck the child was not reported.In at least seven of the incidents, reports indicated that the children were running toward the bus, whether it was because they had dropped something or because they were trying to catch the bus.

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