JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s one of the biggest and most dangerous problems on a school bus route — drivers who run the school bus stop signs that pop out when students are being dropped off or picked up.
Stopping in this situation is not optional, it’s a Colorado state law.
Yellow lights on a school bus usually mean get ready to stop. Signs on the back, flashing red lights, and a stop sign mean to stop. That includes drivers on the opposite side of the road coming toward the school bus.
The only exception for oncoming traffic is if there’s a painted lane in the middle of the road for turning, or a median. Then coming traffic does not have to stop.
Many drivers break the law and pass buses all the time, endangering the lives of children who might be crossing the street.
“It probably happens every day somewhere in the south end of Jefferson County. And within the whole county, we’re talking five or six times a day and maybe more, especially early on at the start of the school year,” Jefferson County Schools Lead Trainer Eric Stene said. “Drivers aren’t accustomed to the buses being out there and they have a tendency to not stop.”
School bus drivers actively enforce the state law. They can take down license plates, descriptions of the drivers, and report them to the sheriff’s office.
The fine is up to $300, a mandatory court appearance, and six points on of a license. A second offense within a five-year period will cost $1,000.