Kentucky school districts urge school bus safety at start of new year

school bus stop sign
Posted at 12:23 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 13:55:13-04

CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — School buses are considered the safest vehicle on the road. In fact, data shows students are 70 times more likely to make it to school safely if they take the bus.

But at the start of this school year, transportation officials say it’s up to every driver to keep it that way.

Denny Ford has worked in school bus transportation for more than a decade, so he knows a thing or two about keeping kids safe.

“This is precious cargo,” said Ford, who’s the director of transportation for Clark County Public Schools. “The most precious cargo you could ever carry.”

Unfortunately, he’s also used to inattentive drivers putting kids in danger.

“You'll see them, they'll be on their phone, or they'll be in such a hurry, and they'll look the other way thinking we're not looking,” he said. “Well, what they don't realize is these buses are equipped with cameras and can catch you running the stop arm.”

Flashing yellow lights on a bus means the vehicle is getting ready to stop. Red lights and an extended stop arm mean the bus is stopped, and kids are getting on or off. They’re also signs for drivers on both sides of the bus to stop and wait until the bus is moving again.

“You don’t want to put them in danger just because you can’t wait an extra 10 to 15 seconds,” said Ford.

Not only is driving around a stopped school bus dangerous, but it’s also illegal in every state. If you’re caught breaking the law, you can face a fine, jail time, or both.

Parents can also help by teaching their kids about bus stop safety.