Hillsborough Co. mom tracks number of kids injured in route to school

Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-11 12:35:58-04

A Hillsborough County mother who has been fighting to restore courtesy busing has started to keep track of the number of students injured in route to and from school. 

In the past three weeks, Josephine Amato found three students were hit by a motor vehicle while in route to school that include Bloomingdale and Newsome High Schools. 

"No one is tracking the numbers locally or on a national level," she said. 

A spokesperson for the Hillsborough County School District tells us they don't track the number of kids walking or biking that are injured in route to or from school.

They say they rely on law enforcement and local agencies to maintain information about accidents on roads -- and, it would be that agency to include the origin or destination of the people involved in an accident. 

Amato says the numbers need to be tracked in our area to show where unsafe walking conditions are across the county.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office tells us they don't keep track of the numbers either, unless they reviewed each report that involved a pedestrian, bicycle or vehicle to see if it involved a student and if the report details whether they were on their way to school.

However, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office says a deputy will usually notify a school as a courtesy if a student is hurt on the way to or from school. 

Besides that courtesy the sheriff's office is not required by state law to keep track of injuries unless a child is injured on a school bus to or from school. 

Florida's Department of Education says schools districts aren't required to report injuries to students who are walking or biking within a two-mile radius of the school. Any accident with injuries would be written up by law enforcement and the data would be available in the Florida's Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES_ portal. 

Amato tells us she's already been posting updates to the Safe Bus for US Facebook page that she started after Hillsborough County removed courtesy busing. 

"We can start looking at those numbers and the real numbers of the children that are being endangered on our roads."

Amato is even sending an offer to the sheriff's office, she'll help them track the data. 

"I'm willing to work with the sheriff's department and volunteer 100 percent of my time to start gathering all the information," said Amato.