Five years have passed since a school bus carrying students plunged off Interstate 565 in Huntsville, Alabama, killing four and injuring dozens. A lot has changed In Huntsviile and Alabama since Nov. 20, 2006. One thing has not changed: School buses are still touted as the safest mode of transportation available for students. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses account for only about 1 percent of student fatalities each year. An average of 19 schoolchildren who ride the bus die in crashes, but more than two-thirds of those children are killed getting on or off the bus. "Students are killed by drivers, and often it is because they fail to yield to a stopped school bus," said Malissa Valdes, a Alabama State Department of Education spokeswoman. In Alabama, just one student has been killed while on a school bus since the four students died five years ago in Huntsville, Valdes said. The 15-year-old boy was killed Sept. 3 of this year in Choctaw County when his bus overturned after being struck by another vehicle. In the 2010-2011 school year, just 17 of the 455 school bus accidents reported across Alabama resulted in injury, Department of Education data show. Of the 64 injuries reported, 47 were students, three were bus drivers and 14 were occupants of other vehicles. One person in another vehicle was killed.
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