Drivers beware as students return to class - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Drivers beware as students return to class

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LOUISVILE, KY (WAVE) - Summer vacation is just about over for kids in Kentuckiana and they're getting ready to head back to class. That means it's time for drivers to get a refresher course on the rules of the road when it comes to buses and school zones.

In less than two weeks school crossings are going to be packed with students. So it's important that you know the rules of the road to keep those kids safe as well as keeping yourself out of the courtroom. Officer Carey Klain with Louisville Metro Police says that violating school zone and school bus laws will not be taken lightly.

"Any time someone passes a school bus, this is an offense they are going to be required to go to court on, it's not something that they can say yes I passed it, I'm guilty let me pay my fine, this is an offense we take very serious."

So remember, anytime you're behind a bus and you see the stop arm come out, you must stop regardless if it's a two lane highway or four lane. Opposing traffic must stop as well unless it's a divided highway according to Rick Caple, Transportation Director, for the Jefferson County Public Schools.

In Indiana, it's against the law to pass a bus that's loading or unloading in the opposing lanes if there's only a double yellow line to separate traffic. If there's a barrier of some kind, you're safe to move forward. But police recommend you do so slowly.

As far as railroad crossings railroad crossings are concerned, Caple says all buses must make a complete stop at those.

"We will stop, we have to open the door of the bus, we have to look both ways like anybody else (and) open the window. It's a state required procedure that each driver must do on a railroad crossing."

It's not just drivers who need to keep an eye on the road. Students need to pay attention too when they're getting on and off the bus. They should look both ways and only cross in front of the bus where the driver can see them. Never cross the road behind the bus.

JCPS is trying to make it easier for you to find your child's bus stop by launching a new 'bus tracker' program on their web site. You can access that link here.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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