Summer's over ... at least for children.
Schools are back in session in Crittenden County Tuesday. In Livingston County, classes resume Wednesday.
With school starting across the state, Kentucky State Police are urging motorists to be alert for loading and unloading school buses and to be wary of reduced speed limits in school zones in the mornings and afternoons.
Kentucky law requires that if any school or church bus used in the transportation of children is stopped upon a highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers, with the stop arm and signal lights activated, the operator of a vehicle approaching from any direction shall bring his vehicle to a stop and shall not proceed until the bus has completed receiving or discharging passengers and has been put in motion. The stop requirement provided for in this section shall not apply to vehicles approaching a stopped bus from the opposite direction upon a highway of four or more lanes.
Passing a loading/unloading school/church bus is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for the second offense. Any person who violates this law will be subject to being cited or arrested.
Another concern is speeding in school zones. Be aware of the school zones in your area and remember to adjust your speed. Fines are doubled for speeding in a school zone where the speed limit has been lowered and flashing lights have been both installed and are flashing at the time.
KSP would like to remind parents of a few safety tips to make this school year safe for all:
Riding the Bus
School bus transportation is safe. In fact, buses are safer than cars! Each year though, many children are injured or killed in an incident involving a school bus. More often than not, these deaths and injuries didn't occur in a crash, but as the pupils were entering and exiting the bus. Remember these safety tips:
- Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
- Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
- When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk 10 giant steps away from the bus. Keep a safe distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are back away from the bus.
- Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
- Stay away from the bus until the driver gives his/her signal that it's OK to approach.
- Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses; however, not all do. Protect yourself and watch out!
Walking and Biking to School
Even if you don't ride in a motor vehicle, you still have to protect yourself. Because of minimal supervision, young pedestrians face a wide variety of dangers while walking to and from school. Here are a few basic safety tips to follow:
- Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard -- never cross the street against a light, even if you don't see any traffic coming.
- Walk your bike through intersections.
- Walk with a buddy.
- Wear reflective material ... it makes you more visible to street traffic.
Riding in a Car
- You might have heard before that most traffic crashes occur close to home ... they do.
- Seatbelts are the best form of protection passengers have in the event of a crash.
- You are four times more likely to be seriously injured or killed if ejected from the vehicle in a crash.
- Everyone needs to be buckled up properly. That means older children in seat belts, younger children in booster seats, and little children in child safety seats.
The Kentucky State Police wants everyone to have a safe school year. Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting unsafe drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at (800) 222-5555. Callers may remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel, and license number if possible.