In an effort to increase the safety of students who ride school buses, the Yukon Police Department and Yukon Public Schools are partnering in the “Badges on Buses” campaign.
The enforcement activities will take place Tuesday and Wednesday during both the morning and afternoon bus routes.
Yukon police officers will ride on school buses and call out violations to nearby officers in patrol cars.
“The primary objective of this event is to protect and provide safety to all of our school students,” Yukon police Maj. Matt Fairchild said. “The Yukon Police Department will be working in conjunction with Yukon Public Schools to combat drivers who fail to stop for school buses when they stop to load or unload students. We have compiled data of several areas we wish to target based on complaints we have received from our bus drivers.”
Yukon Public Schools Director of Transportation Christy Clemons said the school is happy to partner with Yukon police.
“We would like to thank the Yukon Police Department for working with us,” Clemons said. “Our No. 1 goal is student safety and we are excited to work with the Yukon Police Department on this project to increase awareness.”
Fairchild said he wants drivers to understand the importance of this initiative.
“Officers on the buses will be watching for drivers who fail to stop for school buses and will be relaying information to officers in unmarked police cars, who will then take necessary actions,” he said. “Drivers of motor vehicles are required by state law to stop when a school bus’ red lights are activated. Yukon drivers who fail to stop for a school bus will face a fine up to $271 and an automatic suspension of their driver’s license.”
This isn’t the first time Clemons has spearheaded a program like this.
She was a part of a similar campaign in 2013 for Norman Public Schools.
According to Fairchild, he does not know of any other school and law enforcement agency that has put on a program like “Badges on Buses”.
“Bus drivers are required by law to report any violations they observe. Those violations are then reported to the police department and we send out warning letters to the registered owners of those vehicles. The expectations are that we raise awareness to drivers and that they understand how important this is. The Yukon Police Department has plans to continue this initiative for the remainder of the school year and into the coming years to ensure that the drivers follow the law.”