LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Students are heading back to school with more buses on the streets and more active school zones -- and drivers are being asked and watch out for children.

Representatives of Jefferson County Public Schools, AAA, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Office of Highway Safety held a news conference Friday to remind drivers and pedestrians that school zones are starting to get busy and can be dangerous. They stressed the importance of adhering to school zone traffic laws.

According to AAA, nearly one in five of every child 14 years of age or younger who dies in a crash is a pedestrian. Officials say they want to promote driver and pedestrian safety -- especially in school zones -- as the new school year begins and traffic picks up.

They say when you see a school bus with flashing lights and a stop arm, do not go around the bus.

JCPS says they will have 900 buses out on the streets carrying 70,000 students, and they want to make sure every single one of them makes it to school safely.

"And we preach safety, safety, safety to our bus drivers," said Randy Frantz, the JCPS Director of Transportation. "Those kids on the bus are their children, and they care for the children deeply."

"A typical car has four or five passengers," said John Wyatt, a training consultant for the Kentucky Department of Transportation. "Our school buses might have 70 students. Even though they're designed to be eight times safer than the next form of transportation on the road, that's a lot of lives at stake."

JCPS asks families to be patient the first few days back as they work out problems with bus routes.

JCPS students head back to school Aug. 15.

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