Two Alexandria City Public School students were involved in accidents involving motor vehicles while crossing city streets to board school busses.
Both incidents occurred on Friday morning, Sept. 27. A five-year-old Maury student was attempting to cross the street at Madison and Henry Streets to board an ACPS bus. The bus had not yet come to a stop and a taxicab that was slowing down, collided with the child. The child was not injured and police did not charge the driver of the taxi.
The other incident occurred on Quantrell Avenue. A six-year-old James K. Polk student was crossing the street to board an ACPS bus that was stopped, with red lights flashing and the stop sign out. A motorist failed to stop and struck the child. The child was treated at Inova Alexandria Hospital and released. The driver of the vehicle was charged with reckless driving, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. It also is an automatic six point deduction from the drivers license.
“The law says motorists must yield to a stopped school bus unless the vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus on a divided highway,” said Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Department.
Councilwoman Claire Eberwein is glad that neither child was seriously injured but sees a need for the public to pay attention to traffic laws regarding stopped school buses.
“I will be asking the president of the Federation of Civic Associations to include a school traffic safety article in their membership organizations’ newsletters. I will also ask Police Chief Samarra to report to Council on Oct. 8, about whether there are additional safety measures that we need to take,” she said. “We were lucky this time but we can’t afford to lose a child.”