WMKY

Back to school; drivers and children should know safety rules

Jul 31, 2017

Credit 511 Contra Costa

State highway crews will begin activating traffic warning flashers at schools across northeast Kentucky next week as students and teachers return to classrooms.

And, that means hundreds of buses will be sharing roadways with work-day commuters each morning and afternoon. Most schools will hold first days the week of Aug. 7, with some returning the week of Aug. 14.

The Transportation Cabinet reminds all drivers to slow down in school zones, obey warning flashers on buses and never pass a bus on undivided highways when the stop arm is extended, and drive carefully.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Before children go back to school or start school for the first time, it is essential that adults and children know traffic safety rules.

Drivers

•When backing out of a driveway, driving in neighborhoods or near schools zones, watch out for children.

•Slow down. Watch for children near bus stops, and stay alert. Put down the phone.

•Obey speed limit warning flashers near schools.

•Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.

Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Children

•Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

•When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.

•Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.

•If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.

•Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings, and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.

•Never walk behind the bus.

•Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.

•If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.

(story provided by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)