By Miriam Raftery
September 17, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) - California Highway Patrol officers will be riding on school buses this Friday, September 21st to catch drivers who fail to stop when a bus flashes red lights and/or extends a stop arm. The enforcement operation will take place in unincorporated areas of East County.
Officers on board the buses will communication with CHP patrol vehicles nearby, which will stop motorists who illegally pass school busses and issue traffic tickets or warning notices.
California law requires motorists in both directions to stop whenever a school bus has flashing red lights, even if it is on the opposite site of the street, unless you’re on a highway of four lanes or more or a highway with a center divider. Drivers must stay stopped until the flashing red lights are turned off. Motorists who don’t stop could be fined up to $1,000.
A survey by the California Department of Education, which included 137 school districts and nine school bus companies, found that over 26,000 motorists stateside failed to stop for a school bus that was stopped to load or unload pupils.
The enforcement action comes after the California Association of School Transportation officials asked the Highway Patrol’s commissioner for help to protect the safety of children at school bus stops.
This project is designed to educate and remind motorists, parents, and students of the importance of school bus pedestrian safety. This message will be conveyed by distributing school bus pedestrian safety tip cards; posters displayed at schools; and in video clips on social media.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.