Badges on Buses

The Shawnee Mission (Kan.) school district has begun a program to combat the growing problem of motorists not stopping when they see school bus stop arms. Together with its bus-service provider, the district and local police departments have initiated the Badges on Buses program.

Kansas law says that a driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school bus stopped on the road must stop when the bus' red lights are flashing. The district's bus drivers help police identify the areas with the greatest violations, and officers ride along on routes in those parts of the district. When officers witness a vehicle that ignores the bus' stop arm and flashing lights, they radio to a patrol car waiting nearby, and the driver is issued a citation.

"This program is vital to the safety of our students," said Ron Roe, manager of purchasing for the district. "We need to raise awareness so that drivers stop when buses stop."

Because of the increase in this type of traffic violation, state lawmakers increased the fine to $300 from $100, the district says.

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