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School bus safety enforcement results released

To ensure students’ safety when traveling to and from school, law enforcement officers across Michigan recently performed dedicated patrols as part of a safety initiative looking for drivers illegally passing school buses.

In its second year, “Operation Safe Stop” is an enforcement campaign that was conducted statewide from October 18-22. Law enforcement agencies worked with their local school districts to provide education and enforcement to their communities.

Preliminary reports indicate officers made 122 traffic stops and issued 50 citations for illegal passing of school buses. The stops also garnered 29 other citations and three misdemeanor arrests.

“Drivers have an obligation to know and obey the laws regarding when to stop for a school bus,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “Ensuring our students are safe during loading and unloading must be a priority for everyone.”

Drivers must prepare to stop when a school buses’ overhead lights are flashing yellow and stop at least 20 feet away from the bus when the overhead lights are flashing red.

A total of 18 law enforcement agencies participated in the five-day enforcement period, which included municipal and county officers as well as the Michigan State Police.

“I am grateful to our bus drivers, law enforcement officers, and Michiganders who drive safely for keeping our kids safe on the road,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Operation Safe Stop is an effective joint effort that reminds us that we all have to be mindful on the road and do our part to help kids get to school safely. We will continue finding ways to help kids stay focused on learning without worrying for their health and safety, both in and out of the classroom.”

For more information about “Operation Safe Stop” and school bus safety, please visit Michigan.gov/SchoolBusSafety.