State Highway Patrol enforcing school bus and school zone safety

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – The State Highway Patrol is enforcing an operation to keep children safe in school zones and school buses.

The Department of Public Safety will be running “Operation Stop Arm” in conjunction with National School Bus Safety Week.

The effort will run daily from 6:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21. The State Highway Patrol expects this to decrease driving violations and school bus negative situations that would involve children.

“Our continued goal is to save lives by raising awareness for school bus safety laws through educational and enforcement efforts,”Colonel Freddy L. Johnson, Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said. “We all play an important role in ensuring our children load and unload from a school bus safely each day, whether you are a roadway user, parent, student, or bus driver.”

WITN is told that about 14,100 school buses travel across North Carolina highways daily. On average, they transport 794,950 children to and from school. 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 fines up to $500.

The NCDPS stresses that passing a stopped school bus is a Class I felony if the driver strikes an individual and a Class H felony should the violation result in a death.

For more information about school bus safety and illegal passing, visit the Department of Public Instruction’s school bus safety website.

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