2013 - 886
Grand Forks, N.D. - The North Dakota Highway Patrol will conduct a Trooper on a Bus event in conjunction with the Minto School District. A trooper will be placed on a bus during a regular route on Thursday, Dec. 13 to raise awareness of traffic violations that occur around school buses. Enforcement action may also be taken if a violation occurs.
The NDHP is actively involved with school transportation safety efforts. Troopers perform safety inspections through a voluntary partnership with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction on approximately 1,900 publicly-owned school buses each year. Troopers also speak at school bus driver workshops on a regular basis, discussing safety regulations and other issues related to the safe transportation of North Dakota schoolchildren.
North Dakota law requires that if a stopped school bus is displaying alternating flashing red lights or a stop sign control arm, a driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking the stopped bus from either direction (front or back) must stop before reaching the school bus. Motorists may not proceed until the red lights are deactivated, the bus driver signals them to proceed or the bus resumes motion. “This law protects children as they are loading or exiting the bus,” said Sgt. Tom Iverson, NDHP safety and education officer. “Children are placed in danger when motorists fail to stop as directed by the bus driver.”
The consequence for failing to yield to a school bus is a $50 fine and six points on the violator’s driving record. Specific equipment and traffic regulations provide safety for children inside and around a school bus. Lighting, reflectors, mirrors, stop arms, emergency exits and school bus yellow paint are all standard safety features.
The NDHP urges motorists to exercise caution around schools and buses before and after school. Parents should remind their children to be aware of traffic. Items such as jackets, shoes, reflective tags and key chains, and backpacks with reflective material are additional safety measures. Reflective items alert drivers to the presence of children as they walk to and from school during the abbreviated daylight hours during much of the school year.