Laws in Kentucky when you’re driving behind a school bus

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The big, yellow buses are back on the roads, but for Beverly Skaggs, those buses hold an unforgettable memory. 

“He didn’t get to cross the highway because someone crossed the school bus and shouldn’t have,” Skaggs says. 

A former coworker of Skagg’s lost a child when a car passed a school bus and hit him. 

To this day, Skaggs says she sees drivers pass school buses when they’re not supposed to. So what are the laws?

Henderson County Sheriff Ed Brady says in Kentucky if you are driving on a two or three lane highway behind a school bus or oncoming traffic, both directions are required to stop. 

If you are driving on a four lane highway, oncoming traffic does not have to stop, but cars going the same direction as the bus do. 

“School buses are not supposed to let the children go out to cross a multilane highway and that’s the reason they feel oncoming traffic can go,” Brady says. 

Kentucky law does not address a median, so even if there is a median in a two lane road, a driver is still required to stop. 

If you don’t stop, Sheriff Brady says a driver can get anything from a citation similar to a speeding ticket, a fine up to a couple hundred dollars, points off your license and even a felony. 

“So if there are children present on the road and you run that school bus. if you hit them it’s a very serious charge if it’s a close call you can be charged with a felony,” Brady says. 

So why all the confusion?

It could be the multilane highways or driving distracted. Either way, it’s people like Sheriff Brady and Beverly Skaggs who hope people learn the law before it’s too late. 

Sheriff Brady says it takes a couple of days for people to get used to the school buses back on the road and will have law enforcement patrolling school zones. 

Brady says if you have any doubt, stop. 

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(This story was originally published August 9, 2018)

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