HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 (Aug. 1, 2023) As the summer season winds down and the new academic year approaches, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) urges all motorists to exercise extreme caution while driving through school zones and be extra vigilant of school buses and children.
With schools reopening, thousands of students across the district will return to their educational institutions, which means increased pedestrian activity and school bus traffic in the area. “Those first days can be difficult to navigate as drivers transition back into school routines,” says Chief District Engineer Mary Westfall-Holbrook .”We must work together and stay alert in our school zones.”
As a responsible and safety-conscious community, it is essential for all drivers to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure the safety of our children:
- Observe School Zone Speed Limits: Reduced speed limits are enforced in designated school zones to safeguard students crossing roads or walking to and from school. Motorists must adhere to these reduced speed limits to avoid accidents and potential harm to children.
- Stop for School Buses: It is critical to remember that state laws mandate drivers to stop when a school bus has activated its stop sign and flashing red lights, indicating that children are boarding or disembarking. Disregarding this law poses a significant risk to young lives.
- 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, especially at crosswalks and intersections. 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.