The Leitchfield Police Department has recently received numerous complaints regarding drivers’ disobeying traffic laws related to school buses.
According to LPD Detective Kevin Smith, on several occasions, vehicles have passed school buses while children were boarding or exiting the buses in several areas of Leitchfield, including the North Main Street area.
Smith said the LPD would like to remind citizens of the importance of obeying the safety equipment on school buses.
“When the equipment is activated, drivers in both directions are required to stop,” said Smith. “The safety of our children is a paramount concern of this agency, and we feel as though many of the infractions have occurred due to drivers’ simply not paying attention.”
Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 189.370, which prohibits passing stopped school or church buses, reads as follows:
“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.
“If any vehicle is witnessed to be in violation of this law and the identity of the operator is not otherwise apparent, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person in whose name the vehicle is registered or leased was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation and is subject to the penalties as provided for in KRS 189.990(5).”
According to Smith, passing a stopped school or church bus is a Class B Misdemeanor for the first offense and is upgraded to a Class A Misdemeanor for the second or greater offense.
Anyone with information regarding this or any crime is encouraged to contact the LPD by either phone at 270-259-3850 or online at www.leitchfieldpolice.org.
Individuals who submit information or tips may remain anonymous.