No citations were issued by troopers in Bladen and Columbus counties during the N.C. Highway Patrol’s week long Operation Stop Arm campaign, which ended Friday, Oct. 23.
Statewide, troopers issued 23 citations to motorists who failed to stop for a school bus, the Highway Patrol reported Tuesday. The campaign was focused on promoting traffic safety around North Carolina schools, school buses and school bus stops.
“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.”
Troopers followed 12 school buses and had one ride-along combined in the dual county Bladen and Columbus district. While troopers did not issue any citations for passing a stopped school bus, troopers did issue two seat belt violations during the campaign.
Troopers followed more than 740 school buses across the state last week to remind motorists of the dangers that exist in and around school buses and school zones. It’s 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 violations: 1,098 seatbelt violations, 119 child safety seat violations, and 5,184 speeding violations.
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 a minimum fine of $500. Passing a stopped school bus is a Class I felony if the driver strikes an individual and carries a minimum fine of $1,250. Should the violation result in a death, the violation would be a Class H felony and a minimum fine of $2,500.
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