CHP, EPD Conduct Enhanced Enforcement Operation Focused on School Bus Pedestrian Safety
This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol:
Arcata, CA – As part of its ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area, and Eureka Police Department, conducted a joint school bus pedestrian safety enforcement operation focusing on motorists who fail to stop for a school bus with its flashing red lights activated and stop arm extended (if equipped). The enforcement operation took place during National School Bus Safety Week, October 22 – 26, 2018, along Humboldt County and Eureka City Schools’ bus routes.
In October 2016, the California Association of School Transportation Officials reached out to the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol for assistance concerning school bus pedestrian safety. The school bus officials provided the results of the annual California Department of Education School Bus Illegal Passing Driver Survey. The one-day survey from 137 school districts and nine school bus contractors, revealed that throughout the state, over 26,000 motorists failed to stop for a school bus that was stopped to load or unload pupils. As a staunch leader in traffic safety, the CHP answered the call by initiating school bus pedestrian safety enforcement operations.
During the enforcement operations, CHP and Eureka Police Officers conducted surveillance on various bus routes and in various locations, actively watching for motorists who fail to stop for a school bus with its flashing red lights activated and stop arm extended (if equipped). Marked and unmarked units were used by both agencies to maximize the effectiveness of the operation.
On Wednesday, October 24, CHP Officers spent the morning at Morris Elementary in Mckinleyville, providing educational materials to both parents and students. This project was designed to educate and remind motorists, parents, and students of the importance of school bus pedestrian safety.
The CHP reminds all drivers, when a school bus flashes red lights (located at the top front and back of the bus), you must stop from either direction until the children are safely across the street and the lights stop flashing. The law requires you remain stopped as long as the red lights are flashing. If you fail to stop, you may be fined up to $1,000, and your driving privilege could be suspended for one year. Yellow flashing lights on a school bus warn a driver to slow down and prepare to stop. If the school bus is on the other side of a divided or multi-lane highway (two or more lanes in each direction), you do not need to stop.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The California Highway Patrol would like to thank Captain Brian Stephens and the Eureka Police Department for their assistance in this week long program, maximizing the education and enforcement provided to our community.