If you’ve noticed heavier-than-usual law enforcement presence near your child’s school or during your daily commute through a school zone this week, your eyes are not deceiving you.
Indeed, state troopers plan to step up their numbers and aggressively enforce traffic laws in school zones and on school bus routes this week during an effort the NC Highway Patrol has named Operation Stop Arm.
The Patrol will be especially focused on motorists who break the law related to school bus stop arms. NC law requires traffic to come to a full and complete stop on either side of the road when children are getting on and off the school bus.
A press release from the North Carolina Department of Crime Control & Public Safety states that on every school day, more than 2,300 drivers violate the school bus stop arm law. The special attention that the Highway Patrol plans to devote to school zones and bus routes this week aims to raise awareness in each of the state’s one hundred counties. Law enforcement officials hope their efforts will lessen and prevent violations and school bus collisions--like this one--in the future.
Deputy Commander Michael Gilchrist affirms, “Motorists who try to pass a stopped school bus will be ticketed.” If convicted of the Class 2 misdemeanor, a person will receive five driving points on their license and could face fines up to $200.
Every motorist has been guilty of putting safety aside at some point during their driving history. But we all need to maintain perspective, even when in a rush.
Reuben Young, Secretary of the NC Department of Crime Control & Public Safety, puts it this way: “A child’s life should never be put in danger just to save a minute or two during a daily commute.”
For more information, visit the Department of Public Instruction’s school bus safety web site at www.ncbussafety.org.