GREENSBORO, NC – Police in Greensboro say scary wrecks that happen around school zones are a reminder of how dangerous it can be for children getting on and off school buses.
Bus drivers like Joyce Quick see it far too often.
"It's kind of scary! It's a lot scary! Like I said, it's like we're invisible,” said Quick. “They just keep going. Whoosh! There you go and there's nothing we can do about it!"
Joyce Quick has been a bus driver for Guilford County Schools for 16 years!
But she’s worried about how drivers ignore the stop arms on her school bus!
"They are in a hurry. They're flying. They don't see the kids,” said Quick. “They are just out there. The flashing light means nothing to them."
Officers can't catch them all but that's not stopping police from going after drivers who put local kids in danger.
Officer JB Price with the Greensboro Police Department says cops are cracking down on those who violate the laws.
"If you see flashing yellow lights, it's not an indicator to speed up and try to pass by it before you have to stop,” said Price. “Flashing yellow lights should be a definite indicator to slow down and prepare to stop!"
WFMY News 2’s cameras were rolling as Price looked for drivers violating school bus laws on Friday as part of Operation Stop Arm.
We didn't catch anyone on Friday but police say this is an ongoing campaign.
GPD has anywhere from 4 to 10 officers who patrol up to 5 times per school year to keep kids safe.
"From the law-enforcement community's standpoint, we want to encourage motorists that they should drive anytime around a school bus as if their child's life depends upon how they drive," said Price.
Just passing the stopped bus is a Class one misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory court appearance.
Penalties get much more severe if you hit at someone while a bus is stopped.
It's a Class I felony -- meaning you could face up to 12-months in jail.
You'd also face a minimum fine of $1,250.
If you hit and kill someone around a stopped bus, you'll be charged with a class H felony.
You could spend up to two years behind bars.
The minimum fine is $25-hundred dollars.
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