Loudoun County Bus Cuts Putting Student Walkers at Harm

Parents and guardians of more than 4,000 Loudoun County students now find themselves having to make alternative plans for their children to get to and from school for the 2013-2014 year. The news comes on the heels of an announcement that the district has eliminated bussing for students who live less than a mile from school.

This cost-saving measure could come at another cost for families and the district. At one school in particular, Stone Bridge High School, this will mean that dangerous jaywalking will be taking place.

What’s the problem? There is one crosswalk at the school, allowing students to safely cross a road on which motorists tend to travel in excess of 50mph. However, it is not located directly in front of the school’s entrance, causing many students to dart across busy traffic to get to school.

Parents have voiced their concern over the new budget cut, insisting on driving their kids to school rather than letting them walk. “It’s just a matter of time before someone gets injured or worse,” one parent said. Another expressed great concern for the overall safety of students.

A parent choosing to drive their own children to school is one solution to the student transportation problem. However, for many, this is not an option. Work schedules or not owning a vehicle are just two reasons why so many parents depend on the bussing system to safely get their children to school each day.

The school district is looking into having another crosswalk placed directly in front of the school entrance, but until that time comes, parents can only hope that their kids find ways to safely cross the street going to and from school.

Whenever pedestrian accidents occur, there is a potential for individuals to receive life-threatening injuries as a result. In 2011, there were more than 1700 pedestrian accident injuries in Virginia and 75 pedestrian deaths, statewide. Statistics show that more than 300 of these pedestrian accidents occurred when people crossed where there was no designated intersection for crossing.

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