Oxford police crack down on motorists passing stopped school buses
OXFORD, Ala. (WBRC) - Oxford’s police chief wants to crack down on motorists who run stopped school buses.
In Alabama, the fine for a motorist passing a stopped school bus, with red lights flashing and the “stop” arm extended, can run from $150 to $300 on a first offense. When a bus stops, a driver following or meeting the bus head on must stop until the bus starts moving again. The exception is the opposite lane of a divided highway.
Wednesday we told you about a similar crackdown in Trussville, involving school bus cameras.
Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge says not all the city's buses are equipped with cameras yet, so in many cases, unmarked patrol cars will follow the buses as they leave school.
“Before school started, we started some public safety announcements about stopping for stopped school buses,” Partridge said. “We’d had a problem with that the last school year so we wanted to hit that problem head-on before the new school year.”
Partridge was disappointed his officers had to write so many tickets, after school started August 7.
"Since school has started, we've written over 20 people tickets, for running a stopped school bus. So we're trying to bring attention to the fact that, please put the phone down, please pay attention to what you're doing and the mornings and afternoons, especially during school hours," Partridge said.
He says distracted driving is the main culprit, and a surprising number of drivers say they didn’t see the school bus.
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