Kentucky police trying to reduce school bus related injuries - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Kentucky police trying to reduce school bus related injuries


State police say last year alone, Kentucky had 1,627 school bus related crashes that resulted in 506 injuries and five deaths.

With the school year quickly approaching, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) are urging motorists to stay alert for school buses and children getting on and off the school bus.

KSP spokesman Trooper Michael Webb says that many school bus related injuries happen on the road outside of the bus and that motorists need to take extra caution anytime they are in the vicinity of a school bus.

Webb also says that he thinks distracted driving and speeding in school zones are the highest risk factors for children being injured and that law enforcement will be strictly enforcing speed zones near schools.

Kentucky law requires that when any school bus used for transporting children is stopped on a highway and is loading or unloading passengers with the stop arm and signal lights activated, the operator of any vehicles approaching from any direction must stop and not continue on until the passengers have finished loading or unloading and the bus begins to move again.
Passing a school bus while it is loading or unloading is a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for the second offense.

KSP strongly encourages parents to review the following school bus safety rules with their children:

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. Do not stray onto streets, alleys or private property.
  • Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches.
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.
  • Use the hand rail when stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, until you can turn around and see the driver.
  • Make sure that the driver can see you.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before beginning to cross.
  • When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver has signaled that it is safe for you to begin walking.
  • Stay away from the bus' rear wheels at all times.
  • Children should always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing.
  • They should continue looking in this manner until they are safely across.
  • If students' vision is blocked by a parked car or other obstacle, they should move out to where drivers can see them and they can see other vehicles -- then stop, and look left-right-left again.

Citizens can contribute to additional child safety by reporting drivers who disregard school bus signals to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555.

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