Arab PD cracking down on drivers ignoring school bus stop signs

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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) -- The Arab Police Department is noticing an increase in drivers ignoring the stop signs on busses, so officers are taking action.

"We've been having a big issue, especially on Main Street," Assistant Chief Shane Washburn says, "Last week we had an incident where a child was crossing the road and a car passed the stopped school bus with the sign out."

The child wasn't hurt, but Washburn says that situation could have turned - in an instant.

He says those situations are becoming more and more frequent. "We want everybody to stop for those stop signs. The signs are out there for a reason, it's to keep the kids safe," Washburn says.

Officers are cracking down on driers, to make sure they're stopping when the busses do.

One way they're doing that is working with the school bus drivers. "We have radios in the school busses right now, that they can radio our dispatch directly and let us know when an incident happens," Washburn says.

The Police Department is also increasing its patrols in the city. "The only time you do not have to stop for a stopped school bus is if it's a divided highway where you have a median in the middle of the roadway and you are in the opposite lane," Washburn says.

If you do get stopped, the fine is steep."If the officer cites the driver it's going to be $159 for the citation and then whatever fine the judge puts on it."

Officers say they don't want to issue citations, but they need to ensure the kids have a safe way to cross when they get off the bus.