Badges on buses program to expand

Canadian County’s sheriff says beginning next month his deputies will team up with officers from the Mustang and Yukon school districts in an effort to stop drivers who pass school buses that are loading and unloading children.
Chris West said the effort began last spring when the Yukon Police Department and the Yukon School District implemented its Badges on Buses program.
West said the program is an effort to bring awareness to the dangers posed for children when drivers fail to stop for school buses.
“We probably won’t be issuing warnings. We take protecting children seriously,” West said.
The deputies will begin riding on buses beginning Nov. 1, the sheriff said.
The idea is that deputies will watch for drivers who pass school buses that are stopped to either load or unload children.
The information will be passed on to deputies who are nearby, who will make the traffic stops.
Drivers who pass those buses when their flashing red lights are activated will be stopped an issued tickets that can result in a fine of $100 plus additional fees, and could have their license suspended for up to a year.
West said both Yukon and Mustang schools had issues last year with drivers failing to stop for buses.
“We were able to get people to slow down and stop. I thought this would be a good move to put the information out now so they are aware. I would rather people do what they are supposed to do,” he said.
West said deputies could be on any school bus.
The sheriff said each year, across the nation, children are injured or even killed after being struck by vehicles while loading or off-loading school buses.
“Please help us protect the children of our communities by yielding to school buses and the precious cargo they carry,” West said.

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