North Carolina Highway Patrol ended its Operation Stop Arm campaign on Friday, Oct. 25. The campaign which began on Monday, Oct. 21, was focused on promoting traffic safety around North Carolina schools, school buses and school bus stops.
During the weeklong enforcement campaign, troopers followed more than 671 school buses across the state to remind motorists of the dangers that exist in and around school buses and school zones. Troopers issued 18 citations to motorists who failed to stop for a school bus. It is estimated that each school day, more than 2,000 drivers violate North Carolina’s school bus stop arm law.
In addition, troopers issued 5,362 traffic and criminal violations in and around schools statewide to include the following notable numbers:
• 583 Seatbelt Violations
• 66 Child Safety Seat Violations
• 2,587 Speeding Violations
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), approximately 24 children are killed in school bus accidents in an average year. Very few of these fatalities occur on the bus. One-third of all fatalities are a result of motorists who fail to stop for the school bus, and one-third are pedestrians who are killed as they approach or leave the school bus stop. Since January of this year, five children have lost their lives in North Carolina as they approached or left the school bus stop.
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 Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State 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.”