CHP to Crack Down on Illegal School Bus Passing
California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced it will crack down on vehicles that illegally pass school buses.
On Thursday, the Buellton CHP station released a statement announcing they will conducting an enhanced enforcement operation focused on school bus pedestrian safety. Specifically, motorists who fail to stop for a school bus with its flashing red lights activated and stop arm extended (if equipped).
The enforcement operation is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 17 along State Route 246 within Santa Barbara County.
During the operation, CHP officers will ride as passengers on school buses and actively watch motorists who fail to stop. The officers will be in communication with CHP patrol vehicles in the proximity of the bus and drivers who illegally pass the bus during the operation will be stopped and issued a warning or citation.
A 2016 California Department of Education School Bus Illegal Passing Driver survey of 137 school districts and nine school bus contractors in California revealed that over 26,000 motorists failed to stop for a school bus that was stopped to load or unload students.
The law states all drivers must stop from either direction when a school bus flashes their red lights until the children are safe across the street and the lights stop flashing. Yellow flashing lights on a school bus warn a driver to slow down and prepare to stop. If a motorist fails to stop, they may be fined up to $1,000 and could have their driving privilege suspended for one year. If the school bus is on the other side of a divided or multilane highway, drivers do not need to stop.