Information every driver should know about driving in school zon - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Information every driver should know about driving in school zones and around school buses

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Sgt. William Patterson has covered a lot of road in 20 years as a police officer.

"There is no true excuse for speeding in a school zone," Patterson said.

He allowed our crew to ride along with him in his patrol car one morning to reveal what police see every day. We patrolled the school for Valor Traditional Academy. That's on Bardstown Road just outside of the Gene Snyder Freeway.

"The speed limit is normally 55, but it drops to 45. There are several signs to warn drivers to slow down. A lot of people claim ignorance and say they don't see the signs," said Patterson.

It didn't take long for Sgt. Patterson to bust a speeder.

"I give drivers the benefit of the doubt. I let them slow down because the speed changes. If they don't slow down or if they speed up, I'm going to stop them. This guy is not slowing down. He's going 20 mph over the posted limit. This is going to be a stop," said Patterson.

"The driver said he realized he was in a school zone but his excuse was that he normally comes through this area at a different time," said Patterson.

"Drivers who get busted speeding in a school zone can expect to pay more than a typical speeding fine. The fine is actually double a normal fine if you get stopped in a school zone. It's also a mandatory court date so there's no pre-pay option for a school zone violation," said Patterson.

This time of the year, LMPD officers are also looking for drivers breaking traffic laws around buses.

"If you are driving in the same direction as a school bus, you absolutely have to stop as soon as the stop sign comes out," said Patterson.

It's also important to note that traffic laws are different in Kentucky and Indiana when it comes to passing a stopped school bus with its stop sign out.
In Kentucky, drivers on a four-lane road heading the opposite direction of a stopped school bus do not have to stop.

That's not the case in Indiana. Hoosier state law says drivers heading in the opposite direction must stop for a school bus when its stop sign is activated unless there's a median in the road. That's even on multiple lane highways.

Don't expect a break from police officers on this one.

"These kids need to be safe. It's our responsibility as drivers and an adult to make sure this happens," said Patterson.

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