It's basic beginners drivers' education: When a school bus starts flashing its red lights and puts out a stop sign, motorists approaching from both directions must stop.
Apparently, quite a few drivers in Payson missed that day in drivers' education class, because the police department is getting an increasing number of reports from the school district that the red lights and stop signs on its buses are being ignored. Drivers just keep going, putting children at risk in their rush.
Responding to the report from the school district, the Payson Police Department is enhancing its enforcement efforts at school bus stops, Lt. Don Engler said.
Engler said the department's two school resource officers will be assigned to patrol different bus stops around the community. They will issue citations to drivers who violate the law about stopping when buses stop.
Engler said the upgraded enforcement work started Tuesday, Jan. 21 and at least two citations had already been issued, and two more are pending.
Failure to stop for a school bus is a class 3 misdemeanor, according to A.R.S. 28-857.01, and carries with it a fine of $180, a spokesperson at the court said.
The A.R.S. 28-857 goes on to state:
- A second conviction within one year of the first is a class 2 misdemeanor. On a third or subsequent conviction within one year after the last conviction, the person is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
- With a second or subsequent conviction, the driver's license can be suspended for up to six months.