FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. – Thousands of students across northeast Kentucky are returning to schools this month, and Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 urges motorists to use caution while once again sharing the road with buses.
“We want everyone to be safe as we transition back into school routines,” said Chief District Engineer Steve Gunnell. “We must work together as drivers to stay alert in school zones, follow posted speed limits, and make sure we understand school bus stop rules to protect everyone on our highways.”
When a school bus stops and has activated its stop sign and flashing red lights, the following traffic safety law applies to other drivers:
- TWO-LANE ROADWAY: All traffic from both directions must stop.
- TWO-LANE ROADWAY + CENTER TURN: All traffic from both directions and in the turn lane must stop.
- FOUR-LANE ROADWAY With or Without MEDIAN: Only traffic following the bus must stop. (Traffic moving in the other direction on the other side of the highway or in a center turn lane may continue.)
More information, and a helpful “School Bus Stop Arm Flyer” with graphics depicting all stop scenarios, can be found online – https://education.ky.gov/districts/trans/Pages/back-to-school-campaign.aspx – at the Kentucky Department of Education’s website.
Not only are these stop rules part of Kentucky law, they’re also the right thing to do to ensure the safety of our communities’ children.
Other guidelines to enhance traffic safety during the back-to-school season as well as throughout the year include:
- Observe School Zone Speed Limits: Reduced speed limits are enforced in designated school zones because of increased traffic and to safeguard students crossing roads or walking to and from school.
- Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions: Always pay full attention to the road and avoid distractions such as mobile phones, eating, or other activities that take your focus away from driving. A split-second distraction can have life-altering consequences.
- Lookout for Pedestrians: Be watchful for children walking or biking to school, or at crosswalks and intersections, especially in urban areas. Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and never pass other vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
- Plan Your Routes and Commute Time: Plan your daily commute, knowing that school zones may cause traffic congestion during pick-up and drop-off times. Allow extra time for your journey and remain patient to avoid rushing and reckless driving.
- Educate Young Passengers: If you are a parent or guardian driving children to school, remind them of proper road safety rules, including the importance of using seat belts and staying inside the vehicle until it has come to a complete stop.
As we begin this new school year, let’s work together to create a safe and supportive environment for all. Remember, responsible driving saves lives.