Watch for children headed to school

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Last Thursday in Mobile County, a 15-year-old Alma Bryant High School student was killed and her older sister injured as the pair walked to a school bus stop.

Both girls were struck along Half Mile Road by a sport utility vehicle, and the 15-year-old, Jada Lanae Davis, died in the 6:15 a.m. accident.

Her sister, Vanessa Nicole Davis – a year older and also an Alma Bryant student – suffered minor injuries, Alabama State Troopers said.

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Officials believe the glare of the morning sun may have hindered the teenage driver who struck them.

It’s important for drivers to be aware of the students who are out in the morning, and to take precautions around school zones, in neighborhoods, and near school buses.

Effective Oct. 1, Alabama will enact a revised and more stringent school bus stop law, said Dallas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Fannie Major-McKenzie.

According to the new legislation, drivers traveling in opposite lanes must bring their vehicles to a complete stop when a school bus receives or discharges school children “on a highway, on a roadway, on school property or upon a private road.”

While the law has not changed drastically from the original legislation passed in 1975, McKenzie said there’s “a little more bite” to it.

School bus drivers and peace officers are asked to report violations to local law enforcement by recording license plate numbers. Take precautions so that we don’t have a similar tragedy in Dallas County.