Each day 8,795 school buses in Kentucky transport over 385,000 students on school buses. Every day, drivers in other vehicles pass school buses while they are loading and unloading students, which can cause injuries and even death.
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 into 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 (4) or more lanes.
As part of our safety awareness campaign in Kentucky, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), Paula Allen, a Kentucky School Bus Driver Training Instructor, and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety put together the following information to help spread safety awareness:
1. Watch the Videos
The Kentucky Department of Education with the help of Jefferson County Public Schools and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety created videos to help students learn the rules of getting to the school bus safely. View the videos below:
2. Talk About School Bus Safety
3. Take The Pledge
Take 5-10 minutes to talk to the students about the videos and answer their questions. It is so important for our students to follow the rules, whether waiting for the bus or sharing the road with the bus. Our students lives depend on everyone following the rules.
We ask student drivers, parents, guardians, members of the community to take the pledge. This pledge recognizes the school buses and the children that ride in them. Those who take the pledge are pledging to have a positive attitude towards school buses, remembering there are children on the bus, and the laws are in place to keep the children safe and make sure they arrive at their destination safely. After taking the pledge, they can receive a wallet sized card with the pledge on it and on the other side of the card, an area for emergency contact information.
5. Spread Awareness
For some districts, signing the pledge may mean that student drivers are given permission to drive on school property. Signing the pledge may be a great way to ask staff to take responsibility and keep an eye out for parents, students and other staff who might be passing buses, and reporting safety issues that they see. The ultimate goal of the program is to bring awareness to the issue and have zero injuries or fatalities while loading or unloading children.
We ask students, parents, guardians, teachers and members of the community to spread awareness about school bus safety. The following flyers can be displayed around school campuses as well as the community. Post them at your local bus stop and ask local businesses to help spread awareness.
School Bus Stop Arm Flyer - explains when to stop for a school bus on different roadways
School Bus Safety Flyer for Parents
School Bus Cut Out
School Bus Danger Zone Cut Out
Crossing the Street
7. Make It Known
Don’t be afraid to contact your local news stations, radio stations and billboard companies to help bring the awareness! There are free PSA’s that can be used.