In support of Operation Stop Arm week the State Highway Patrol will be aggressively enforcing stop arm violations and other traffic violations in and around school zones. The operation will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 23. The Patrol expects Operation Stop Arm will decrease violations and reduce school bus collisions.
Across the state, troopers will be working school zones and others will be following the buses. Troopers will be driving marked and unmarked patrol cars during the operation.
?We must ensure our children?s safety as they travel to and from school,? said Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. ?A child?s life should never be put in danger just to save a minute or two during a daily commute. That?s why we?re going to make sure people know the law as well as the consequences of breaking it.?
According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, on an average school day in North Carolina nearly 3,000 motorists disregard school bus stop arms. With more than 800,000 kids in the state relying on those buses, the danger is very real.
Passing a stopped school bus is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, a person will receive five driving points on their driver?s license and is subject to a minimum fine of $500. Passing a stopped school bus is a Class I Felony if the driver strikes an individual and carries a minimum fine of $1,250. Should the violation result in a death, the violation would be a Class H Felony and a minimum fine of $2,500.
For further information concerning school bus safety and illegal passing please visit the Department of Public Instruction?s school bus safety web site at http://www.ncbussafety.org/.