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Stop on Red Kids Ahead

Steven Rains - August 17, 2019 12:00 pm

Kansas education officials are expressing concern that many motorists are ignoring a state law that requires them to stop when approaching a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children.

A recent survey found 1,040 motorists illegally passed school buses in Kansas during a one-day test in April, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported . The survey included only three-fourths of the state’s school districts so the number of violations is likely higher.

Kansas law requires all vehicles coming from both directions to stop when approaching a stopped school bus displaying its flashing lights and stop arm. All traffic must pause, whether on a two- or four-lane road. On a divided highway with a median separation, traffic approaching the bus from behind must stop. Motorists have to remain idled until the bus withdraws the stop arm and turns off the flashing light.

A violation of the law would be punishable by a fine and court costs in excess of $240.

Randy Watson, commissioner of the Kansas Department of Education, said the law requires a law enforcement officer to witness the infraction, which makes using videos from cameras on buses difficult.

In the April survey, 220 districts in Kansas deploying 3,300 school buses reported 1,040 violations by motorists. In April 2018, 214 districts operating 3,347 buses documented 1,030 infractions. Participation in 2017 was lower, with 188 districts and 2,527 buses reporting 691 violations.

Kathy Busch, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Education, said the Department of Education has launched a public awareness campaign as the new school year starts to try and improve adherence to bus safety laws. It is known as “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead.”

 

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