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Can a Bus Driver Be Charged with a Crime for Leaving a Child on a School Bus or Day Care Center Van?

By Robert Chaiken, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Texas and other States, school bus drivers and day care center van drivers have a duty to drive in a safe manner, to obey posted speed limits and traffic control devices, to supervise the children being transported, and to make sure that children are removed from the bus after arrival at school or the intended destination. It is a relatively simple act to remove children from the bus after arrival at the school, day care center, or intended destination. The school bus driver / day care center van driver should do a visual inspection and then walk through the entire van or bus checking each seat and row for children.

At times, children will hide, fall asleep, or just remain seated after arrival at the destination. It can be very dangerous for a child to be left unattended in a vehicle during hot summer months as well during cold winter months. Furthermore, the lack of supervision of a child on a bus can lead to other problems or dangers for the child including but not limited to strangulation, choking, health issues, and, yes, abduction. The purpose of school and day care transportation is to provide the children with a safe mode of transportion by schools, day care centers, and drivers with experience with children.

Most drivers do the job very well. While others fall short on occasion which, in turn, puts a child at danger. Some children suffer serious personal injuries when left unattended and unsupervised on a school or day care center van or bus.

ABC News and other news outlets recently reported on a story that took place in Houston, Texas. It was reported that a 9 year old boy was mistakenly left unattended on a school bus after a morning route. While the boy was scared, it does not appear that he suffered any serious personal injuries as a result of the incident. The child was fortunately found before any serious harm took place. The bus driver, Simona Alcaide, was arrested by police and charged with the felony charge of endangering a child. For more information regarding this incident, see Bus Driver Arrested in Houston for Leaving a Child Unattended on the School Bus.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.