Troopers remind us of penalties for running the stop sign arm on school buses

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BEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Back to school means buses are back on the road from early in the morning to every evening as well. There are many things motorists need to remember to keep kids safe.

For the first time, in six months, buses are back on the road for those students with in-person classes.

If you get stuck behind the big yellow bus, you have to remember it’s the law to stop when the stop sign arm is out.

“Everyone’s in a hurry, I think we can all agree with that. I think we need to slow down and think about what we’re doing. The kids are in a hurry too, so they’re not always paying attention so that’s why it’s important as adults to make sure the kids are safe,” says Trooper Kyle Gruber, motor carrier safety division, Pennsylvania State Police.

“Motorists need to stop all the time when they see a school bus letting children on or off. If you’re on the highway and there is a concrete or grass divider, you do not have to stop on the opposite side,” says Rebecca Rybak, education coordinator, Northeast Highway Safety Program.

Each year, drivers break this law. Now, cameras are in place behind most school bus stop signs to catch those who don’t obey the law.

Not only are you putting lives at risk, passing a stopped bus leads to a hefty fine.

“If you go past a school bus and the stop sign and arm is out it’s a 250 dollar fine you can also receive a $300 dollar civil penalty fine, and you will get five points on your license and you could get a 60 day suspension,” Troooper Deanna Piekanski tells us.

You can also get a fine for not slowing down, while driving in a school zone.

Bus safety isn’t just for motorists. Parents should teach their children to be mindful while waiting for the bus to prevent a tragic accident.

“They need to watch for the danger zones which is when a bus driver cannot see them. So, if they can’t see the bus driver the bus driver can’t see them. That’s when an accident can happen,” says Rybak.

You have to remember to slow down and pay attention. It’s a decision that could save a life.

“Adults and motorists need to pay attention and be careful to keep them safe. Leave five minutes earlier, 10 minutes earlier, don’t rush, pay attention, don’t be on your cell phone,” says Trooper Piekanski.

And if you’re caught speeding in a school zone, the fine can be up to $500 dollars.

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