State police monitor school bus routes

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - Students were not the only bus riders on the first day of school in Brookland.

State police officers rode on buses Monday morning and patrolled bus routes to look for school bus passing violations.

"Promote bus safety, school safety, and traffic safety," Senior Corporal Chuck Wilson said. "It has to get people used to the buses being back out here again."

Police pulled over two vehicles on U.S. 49 for not stopping when a bus flashed its red lights, within minutes of the bus routes starting.

"Both drivers, as I was watching, they didn't even look at the school bus so they're evidently not aware that they're supposed to be watching these school buses today. Both of those vehicles have been stopped," Wilson said.

State law requires all traffic to stop when a school bus flashes its red lights, if there is no grass or dirt median, or a concrete barrier.

"Be prepared to stop when you see the yellow lights start to flash. Don't try to increase your speed or get around them because the red lights are quickly coming after the yellow," Wilson said.

"Hopefully this will help our situation," transportation director Anthony Hunt said. "With the vehicles that are passing, maybe we can get this slowed down and make everybody aware of the laws that are out there."

The bus routes run about 25 miles and carry elementary through high school students.

"This is all about child safety. So these bus stops are important to us and they're important to everybody trying to get their kids back and forth to school. So we need to have them as safe as possible," Hunt said.

To ensure this, Hunt said they will monitor the bus routes year-round to stop these violations.

Wilson said police will continue to utIlize low-profile and unmarked vehicles throughout school bus routes.

"The reason why we're in business is for child safety. That's our main goal is to get everybody here safe and that's what we strive for every day," Hunt said.

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