The Highway Patrol ended its “Operation Stop Arm” campaign on Friday, Oct. 21. The campaign which began on Monday, Oct. 17, was focused on promoting traffic safety around North Carolina schools, school buses and school bus stops. During the week long campaign, troopers across the state looked for violations in and near school zones as well as followed school buses looking for motorists who failed to stop for the school bus stop arm law. Troopers drove marked and unmarked patrol cars during the operation.
During the week-long enforcement campaign, troopers followed more than 950 school buses across the state to remind motorists of the dangers that exist in and around school buses and school zones. Troopers issued numerous citations to motorists who failed to stop for a school bus.
In addition, troopers issued more than 6000 traffic violations statewide in and around schools and school zones. Some of the more notable violations include:
• Over 2,900 Speeding Violations
• Over 900 Seatbelt Violations
• 139 Child Safety Seat Violations
Every day in North Carolina, more than three-quarters of a million children ride the school bus to and from school. It is estimated that each school day, more than 2,000 drivers violate North Carolina’s school bus stop arm law. According to the Department of Public Instruction, it was determined that approximately 3,680 cars passed a North Carolina public school bus while stopped with red lights flashing and loading or unloading students during a one day period in March 2011.
Despite the end of the campaign, troopers will continue to monitor school buses and school zones. “Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of our children,” said Michael Gilchrist, commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. “To accomplish this, we must work together to reiterate the consequences that can result when a driver fails to yield to the flashing lights of a stopped school bus.”
For further information concerning school bus safety, visit the NC Department of Public Instruction’s school bus safety web site at http://www.ncbussafety.org/.