Cops on Buses Program Keeping Kids Safe

March 15, 2007 - Posted at 6:19 p.m. CDT

TRUMANN-Leaving your child at the school bus stop means putting their safety in the hands of others.

But when a few Trumann bus drivers noticed a lack of concern to student safety, they decided to do something about it.

The Trumann School District has teamed up with the Police Department to create the "Cops on Buses" program.

"We don't want any citations written, but we do want to get the kids home as safely as possible," said Trumann Bus Supervisor, Curtis Green.

Everyday the wheels on the bus go round and round, yet people never seem to notice when they stop.

"They see these buses each and every day. It gets to be just a routine thing, and before you know it you are by them. I don't think they deliberately run by them," said Green.

Therefore, Trumann police officers are stepping out of their cruisers and onto the buses.

"I'm hoping it's enough to make people aware that we are out there, and we just don't want to see any kids getting hurt," said Trumann Police Chief, Larry Blagg.

Parents like Cheryl Green agree whole heartedly with the "Cops on Busses" program.

"I think it's a wonderful idea for the simple fact that kids have to cross the street to get to the bus stop. They have to watch for oncoming traffic," said Green.

That oncoming traffic could be deadly.

"They don't even realize the bus has stopped and stuck out that big red stop sign and the big yellow arm sticking out there. They just go on by it," said Blagg.

According to Arkansas Code if passengers on a school bus are boarding or exiting, all other vehicles must come to a complete stop and not try to pass the bus in any direction.

The code also says if the bus' red lights are flashing, vehicles must yield before proceeding in any direction.

"I don't want to see them get these hefty tickets, but I don't want to see a child get run over either," said Blagg.

With children's safety relying on that big red stop sign and those flashing lights, motorists must pay attention.

"Kids have got to come first. That's just the bottom line," said Blagg.

While the Trumann Police Department has issued no tickets yet, it says it will if that means protecting kids safety.

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