LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Fall means it is time to head back to school in Arkansas, but it is also time to remember child safety.
Every single day school buses transport thousands of students across Arkansas’s highways and their safety should be our number one concern.
“It would just be a terrible way to start the school year to have some tragedy,” Arkansas Commissioner of Education Johnny Key said.
On a single day last year, Arkansas school bus drivers reported more than 800 drivers illegally passing a stopped school bus.
“There are too many instances around the state of illegal passing of school buses that are stopped picking up kids and dropping off kids,” Key said.
The “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.” Campaign is a month-long effort in August organized by the Arkansas Department of Education that aims to protect the 350,000 Arkansas kids loading up on school buses every day.
Arkansas state law requires the operator of any motor vehicle approaching a stopped school bus to stop before reaching the school bus.
“There's a lot of danger out there,” Key said. “Folks just need to slow down pay attention and, as I said, leave a little early. Don't get caught up trying to rush in that first week.”
Violators may be fined up to $1,000 or 90 days in jail in addition to license sanctions. Arkansas State Police has partnered with law enforcement agencies all over the state to crack down on school bus safety violations.