New Law Cracks Down On School Bus Stop Runners In Oklahoma

Thursday, October 27th 2011, 5:51 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- A new law begins next week that will take away the driver's license of anyone who doesn't stop while kids are getting off a school bus.

A national study has shown that about 20 percent of the cars approaching a school bus, while it's stopped, ignore the stop sign and motor on through.

Law enforcement is hoping a stiffer penalty will prevent that from happening.

It could be one of the most dangerous parts of the day for your children, the moment after they get off their bus and start walking home.

"All it takes is one driver to decide 'I don't want to stop for this bus, I'm in too big a hurry' and then you've got a tragedy," said Sgt. Ed Ferguson of the Broken Arrow Police Department.

"It's a scary deal when you're crossing children," said David Haines of Broken Arrow Schools.

It's such a concern that law enforcement spoke Thursday about a new law that begins November 1st.

"If you do not stop when those red lights are activated for a school bus and you drive past that school bus, in addition to a fine and other penalties such as points on your license and record, you're going to lose your driver's license for a year," Sgt. Ferguson said.

The question might be, how do you know when to stop? The first and only rule is when you see a red, flashing light you have to stop. The only exception is if you are coming the opposite way on a road that has a median or some kind of physical barrier between you and the school bus.

So look for the red lights, because you just never know when a child may come barreling around the bus.

"When you're approaching a back end of a bus and trying to get by when the reds are going you have no idea there's kids on the other end of that bus, on the opposite side of the street, that are ready to cross over. You can't see that as a motoring public," Haines said.

In addition to the suspended license, there's a $249 fine for failing to stop at a school bus stop and four points are added to your traffic record.