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Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office reminds drivers to stop for school buses

The Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office sees people not stopping for school buses every day throughout the entire county
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:18 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — On Monday, the Twin Falls Sheriff’s office pulled over three vehicles for not stopping for a school bus.

School bus drivers have a lot to think about when they are heading to pick up children before and after school, and one bus driver KMVT talked to says it’s terrifying when a driver breaks the law and doesn’t stop for them.

“Many a times, I have had drivers run through my stop sign, it’s a nightmare, I don’t want it to happen,” said Shonia Gaston, who works for the Kimberly School District.

The Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office sees people not stopping for school buses every day throughout the entire county.

“You know you think it would be hard to miss a giant yellow bus with it’s stop arm out and the yellow or red lights flashing,” said Sergeant Ken Mencl with the Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office. “But people become so distracted with what they are doing, they are either late for work or on their phones.”

In the gem state, drivers are required to stop for any bus with its arm extended if the road is three lanes or fewer.

If the road is four lanes or more, traffic travelling in the same direction as the bus is required to stop, but not traffic going the opposite direction.

If you are caught breaking the law, you could face a hefty fine.

“The fine for not stopping for a school bus is $200, but when you calculate court costs on top of that, because it’s a misdemeanor, there is an additional $157.50 tacked on to that, so you will be paying, if found guilty, $357.50 in court and 4 points will be added to your driving record,” said Sgt. Mencl.

Many people may not realize that many school buses have cameras on them, which enable the Sheriff’s Office to easily locate the driver.

“We do have them on most of our buses, not all of them, but most of them which is really nice, it’s a reassurance to the driver that it was caught on video,” said Gaston.

Shonia Gaston says no matter how late you are, keeping children safe should be your first priority.

“These kids are like our kids, when you give them to us, they become our kids, we want to take care of them, we want to get them to and from school safely, we take pride in what we do,” said Gaston.

School buses are required to put their yellow lights on 200 feet before the stop, which serves as a warning to drivers that a stop is coming up.

The red lights go on when they reach their next stop, meaning that cars have to stop as well.

Overtaking and Passing a School Bus

Today the Sheriff's Office identified 3 separate violations by motorists who failed to stop for a school bus. Please remember to stop for school buses when they are picking children up in the morning and dropping them off in the afternoon. The total court cost for failure to stop for a school bus while it is loading/unloading is $357.50, its a misdemeanor, and adds 4 points to your driving record.

Posted by Twin Falls Sheriff's Office on Monday, April 5, 2021

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