School bus-related crashes cause 5 deaths in three days-- here are tips on bus safety

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Five school bus stops. Five deaths. All in just three days in cities across America.

Tuesday – A 9-year-old girl and her 6-year-old twin brothers all died after they were run over while walking to a bus in Indiana.

Wednesday – a truck ran struck two brothers in Mississippi, killing a 9-year-old boy and leaving his 11-year-old brother with serious injuries.

Also Wednesday – a 5-year-old boy was injured by a car as he was trying to board a school bus in Tallahassee.

Today—a 7-year-old’s body was found at a bus stop in Pennsylvania – believed to have been hit by a van.

And again today in Tampa – a car drove into a group of people – injuring two adults and five children, leaving two of the children with serious injuries.

Officials say this epidemic of school bus-related crashes can easily be avoided if drivers follow these simple rules:

When there is a paved barrier in the road—like a median, only the cars going with the school bus have to stop. However, the cars driving the opposite direction have to drive slowly.

If there is no barrier, like a two lane road, all cars in both directions must stop.

“Leave on time, give yourself plenty of stopping distance as well,” says Lt. Bett Rhodenizer, from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. “We have had fatal crashes here in Alachua County where vehicles strike our school busses.”

The Alachua County Sheriff’s office says passing these busses when the stop sign is on, could not only land you a hefty ticket—but even a criminal offence.

“If all these rules are a little bit confusing or you can’t remember, you’re never going to be wrong if you stop, and if you’re looking out for our children’s safety,” says Lt. Rhodenizer.

Officials also say one of the leading causes to accidents like these-- is distracted driving

Deputies want to remind everyone to put the cell phones down, and keep both eyes on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says , 301 school-age children died in school-transportation related crashes between 2006 and 2015.

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