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OFFICIAL KENTUCKY STATE
Media / For More Information Contact:
Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Asks Drivers to Pay Attention to School Bus Activity
Date of News Release: 08/08/2012
(Frankfort, Ky.) -- Summer break ends for thousands of Kentucky students this week as they head back to school. For many children, getting to and from school will take place on a school bus. Unfortunately, every year children are injured and even killed in school bus related crashes.
Last year, Kentucky had 1,627 school bus related crashes resulting in 506 injuries and five deaths. With school starting in many communities, KSP Spokesman Tpr. Michael Webb is urging motorists to be alert for loading and unloading school buses.
"Nothing strikes fear in trooper's mind like getting a call that there has been a bus related crash," says Tpr. Michael Webb. "As a parent myself, I know how precious those children are and when they get on the bus, you place their safety in someone else's hands."
"Many parents worry about their child's safety once they set foot on the bus, but many of the injuries happen on the road outside of the bus," says Webb.
"As motorists, we need to take extra caution anytime we are in the vicinity of a school bus. Stop, slow down and look for children who may be loading or unloading from the bus" says Webb.
Webb says he thinks distracted drivers and those who speed in school zones often put children in more danger than anything else.
"Texting while driving and using a cell phone often take a drivers attention from the road," he says. "Many times inattentive drivers may not see stops signs, reduced speed limit signs or even the flashing lights of a school bus."
KSP is asking all motorists to be extra cautious as schools open this month and especially when maneuvering around school buses.
"It is a good reminder for all of us that we need to take extra precautions to get our children to school safely and law enforcement will be strictly enforcing speed zones in and around schools to ensure that happens."
Kentucky law states that if any school bus used in the transportation of children is stopped on a highway for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers, with the stop arm and signal lights activated, the operator of a vehicle approaching from any direction must stop and not proceed until the passengers have loaded/unloaded and the bus has been put in motion.
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.
"As parents, we must reinforce proper school bus safety procedures with our children and this is the perfect time of year to talk with them," adds Webb.
KSP encourages parents to review the following schools bus safety rules.
Rules for getting on and off the school bus getting on the school bus:
Getting off the school bus
Correct way to cross the street
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.
Kentucky State Police
919 Versailles Road | Frankfort, KY 40601
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