23 cited for passing stopped school buses during NC’s ‘Operation Stop Arm’ campaign

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Highway Patrol cited 23 drivers during its Operation Stop Arm campaign for passing stopped school buses.

The campaign, which began on Monday, Oct. 19, focused on promoting traffic safety around North Carolina schools, school buses and school bus stops.

The 23 arrests are the most since 2010 when there were 24 citations given out. The campaign started in 2005 but stats are only available starting in 2010.

  • 2010- 24 citations
  • 2011- 16 citations
  • 2012- 16 citations
  • 2013- 18 citations
  • 2014- 17 citations
  • 2015- 23 citations

Of the 23 drivers cited during Operation Stop Arm, only two drivers were from Troop C, which includes Wake, Durham and Johnston County.

Troop G, which includes counties in the western part of the state, had eight citations for passing stopped school buses, the most in the state.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, on average, 24 children are killed in school bus accidents each year.

About one-third of all fatalities are a result of drivers who fail to stop for a stopped school bus.

During the week-long campaign, troopers followed more than 740 school buses across the state to remind drivers of the dangers that exist in and around school buses and school zones.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, it is estimated that each school day, more than 3,000 drivers violate North Carolina’s school bus stop arm law. |

In addition, troopers issued 10,865 traffic and criminal violations statewide including the following notable violations:

• 1098 Seatbelt Violations
• 119 Child Safety Seat Violations
• 5,184 Speeding Violations

“Our number one priority is the safety of our children,” said Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol. “To accomplish this, we must continue to work together to reiterate the consequences that can result when a driver fails to yield to the flashing lights of a stopped school bus.”

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 could pay up to a $500 fine.

Passing a stopped school bus is a Class I Felony if the driver hits an individual. The crime also comes with a minimum fine of $1,250. If the accident results in death, the violation would be a Class H Felony and a minimum fine of $2,500.

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