Operation Stop Arm kicks off Monday

Published 12:25 am Friday, October 14, 2011

In an effort to promote traffic safety around schools, school buses and school bus stops, the North Carolina Highway Patrol will conduct Operation Stop Arm the week of Oct. 17. The operation will be conducted from 6 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Troopers will be patrolling school zones and conducting “Follow-A-School Bus” activities in several different school zones across Beaufort, Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell counties. This program has been implemented before and has been successful.

Troopers will be aggressively enforcing violations of G.S. 20-217 (a) Passing a Stopped School Bus and all other traffic violations in and around school zones.

Just a reminder, all drivers must stop for stopped school buses that are displaying mechanical stop, signal or flashing red stoplights and are stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers unless the driver is traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus and there are at least four lanes of traffic with a median or turn lane separating the traffic.

The statute states: “The driver of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction from the school bus, upon any road, highway or city street that has been divided into two roadways, so constructed as to separate vehicular traffic between the two roadways by an intervening space (including a center lane for left turns if the roadway consists of at least four more lanes) or by a physical barrier, need not stop upon meeting and passing any school bus that has stopped in the roadway across the dividing space or physical barrier.”

Each day, school buses carry “our most precious cargo” and the Highway Patrol is asking motorists to be aware of school buses and their surroundings when they are approaching a school bus.

People who witness violations of Passing a Stopped School Bus are asked to contact the local Highway Patrol office with as much information as possible so that the violation can be investigated.