REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- Law enforcement officers have one message for drivers as the school years begins on Monday: Pay Attention!
In Guilford County, Greensboro Police, Highway Patrol, and Guilford County Sheriff deputies will be stationed in school zones. Officers will also be following school bus routes in marked-and unmarked cars. High Point and Winston-Salem Police have their own operation and will be patrolling around schools. That means, if you speed in a school zone or pass a stopped school bus, you will more than likely get caught. And if it isn't the two eyes of an officer that sees you, it will be the unblinking eye of a camera.
"If you're caught on camera, you're pretty much caught," said Josh Helm, Forstress Systems.
Rockingham County Schools has a new tool to help catch stop-arm violators, a camera system that records from 4 angles. When a driver passes a bus with its stop-arm extended, a camera catches the license plate, the profile of the driver, and the violator crossing the plane of the stop arm itself.
It's a sure but expensive way to catch stop-arm violators. At $3,000 a piece, RCS could only afford a few. Guilford County has 5 similar cameras and Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools has 27.
"We will vigorously enforce, and we will vigorously pursue the person who violates those laws," said Sheriff Sam Page, Rockingham County Sheriff's Office.
Speeding in a school zone will cost you $250. Passing a stopped school bus will cost double that, if not more.
"The most serious violation you can do in traffic, is passing a stopped school bus with the lights on. You can get a lot of points there, you could lose your license but what's worse is someone could die," said Sheriff Page.
Last year in Rockingham County, 15 people were caught passing a stopped school bus. Twnty-nine people were ticketed in High Point for the crime and in Greensboro 11 people were cited.