Officers partner at Centura Public Schools for bus traffic enforcement operation
It's a law that could cost you a $500 fine and community members of Centura Public Schools have seen more and more drivers disobeying it.
On Thursday, the Hall County Sheriff's Office partnered with the Nebraska State Patrol and Howard County Sheriff's Office to put officers on Centura Public School buses to watch for vehicle passing violations.
Officers heard repeated complaints from parents and bus drivers about vehicles failing to stop when school buses were loading and unloading kids at their stops, while the red stop sign was extended.
Sergeant Joel Bergman with NSP said folks just do not seem to realize the potential for tragedy.
"The buses do a warning signal prior to slowing down. Drivers are required to slow to 25 per hour once those yellow lights come on and then stop once the red lights and the stop arm extends,” said Bergman.
Sergeant Bergman told NTV News the rule applies to both vehicles following the bus and approaching the bus from either direction. All cars, trucks, semi's, any vehicle must stop while the red stop sign is out.
"The bus driver that I actually rode with today describe several stories where she has stopped to unload and vehicles just drive right by and how much it scares her as a bus driver because you know, if a child is going to be hit, it's going to be hit immediately in front of her,” said Bergman.
I spoke with that bus driver prior to the ride along– and she told me even semis have weaved around her and oncoming traffic while students were being unloaded.
But why might folks continue to break this law?
"It could be a combination of anything. Distracted driving, youthful drivers, terrain in the road, maybe they have a limited sight line to the bus, but it's probably mostly just excessive speeding and distracted driving and potentially that they don't understand that they do have to come to a complete stop,” said another NSP officer that was a part of Thursday’s ride along.
Sergeant Bergman reminds drivers to slow down. He said waiting for a school bus is not going to add that much time to your commute.