In the wake of the tragic Houston school bus accident that killed two students and injured others, officials and experts are taking another look at school bus safety in Texas. Under Texas law, school districts are required to submit annual reports about school bus accidents and injuries to the Texas Education Agency. However, agency officials have acknowledged that some of the publicly-reported numbers are misleading.
About 16 percent of school districts and charter school operators did not submit mandatory data for the most recent report, which covers the 2013-14 school year. Of those that did submit their reports, some of their reported totals did not add up correctly. According to agency officials, the discrepancies occurred when districts interpreted questions differently. For example, some districts have been reporting all accidents, while others only submit information on accidents that resulted in citations.
In addition, districts are varying in reporting other categories of information. Because of the inconsistencies, officials are complaining that analyzing the accident data submitted since 2008 could be difficult. The most recent report lists 2,288 school bus accidents in 2013-14. However, when districts were asked about how many buses in those accidents had seat belts, a higher number of accidents were reported. Also, injury data did not add up. The most recent report says that eight pedestrians were injured by school buses. The more detailed count adds up to seven.
In the last six years of accident reports, no deaths of student or adult passengers has occurred, but three bus drivers and 11 pedestrians, some of whom were students, were killed by school buses in Texas. Experts are urging the state to collect accurate bus accident data so that steps can be taken to decrease the odds of another serious accident.Although many parents are very concerned about school bus safety after the terrible tragedy that occurred earlier this month, school buses are one of the safest methods of transportation. If an accident does occur, the negligent party can be held responsible, including the school district, another driver, or a business. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707 to learn more about how we can help. You can also check out our Google Plus page for more information.