DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) – Police in Duluth are urging people to be extra cautious around school buses on the road.
There’s been a major increase in drivers failing to stop when students get on or off the bus.
It’s called a stop arm violation.
School bus driver Bryan Kent has been behind the wheel for most of his working days.
During his close to 30 years as a school bus driver, safety is always a top priority.
“You’ve got to be diligent. Making sure you’re checking your traffic before you’re opening the door,” said Bryan Kent, a school bus driver with Voyageur Bus Company.
Now the danger for Duluth students who step off the bus has increased due to stop arm violations.
“Last year, for the whole year we had 64 school bus stop arm violations called in. This year already we’re up to 92,” said Officer Jim Forsyth, West Community Officer for Duluth Police Department.
Forsyth took to the streets Wednesday on an empty school bus for an educational outreach effort, pulling over people who didn’t stop for the bus, letting them off with a warning.
“If that was your child crossing the street, you would want every driver to stop and give adequate room,” Forsyth said.
Forsyth said one reason for the increase is people aren’t focused enough on simply driving when they’re in the car.
“I think we’re just stressed out with a lot more distractions when we’re driving. I think it’s very important that we need to we need to put those distractions down and concentrate on what we’re doing,” Forsyth said.
During their educational outreach effort Wednesday, police stopped two people for stop arm violations in about ten minutes.
According to police officials, drivers should slow down if they see a bus with flashing yellow lights.
That way they will be prepared to stop as soon as the stop arm on the bus flips out.
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