It is back to school time and it is a good time to remind drivers to stop when children are boarding, exiting school bus.
With school buses prowling through neighborhoods again as school resumes, drivers should expect to wait when the bus’s stop sign arm is extended while children are boarding and exiting the bus. However, about 13,000 motorists each year are reported by Arizona school bus drivers for not stopping as required.
A new streamlined process is allowing the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division to send warning letters more quickly to owners of vehicles that were reported as not stopping for the school bus stop sign.
Using an online form, bus drivers can send a complaint of a stop sign violator directly to ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. MVD then sends a notification letter, which is not a citation, to the vehicle owner as an effort to call attention to the seriousness of running the stop sign, which allows students getting on and off the bus a safe space to cross the street.
Previously, school bus drivers would fax forms to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which then emailed or faxed the reports to MVD.
“Oftentimes, the reports were in batches and difficult to read, and it put DPS in the middle,” said MVD Senior Division Administrator Susan Trask. “We created an online form for the bus drivers to complete, removing DPS completely from the process, and making the submission electronic. This removed the need to fill out a form to fax or email.”
Motorists, who are issued citations by law enforcement officers for passing a school bus when a stop arm is extended, could face a civil penalty and possibly a suspended driver license under state law.