HIGH POINT, NC — A Kernserville middle schooler died Wednesday when a driver ran a school bus stop arm and hit him, police said.
Even before that tragic accident, police in High Point had been trying to stop similar crimes from happening in their town.
Capt. Mike Kirk said his officers have been focusing on the intersection of Eastchester Drive (NC 68) and Gallimore Dairy road in northern High Point.
“We’ve tried to just step up our enforcement action, bring it to everyone’s attention that a stopped school bus — it’s very critical they need to stop for that school bus,” Kirk said.
Officers in the traffic division have witnessed several cars passing the same passed school bus, Kirk said.
That’s why Wednesday the HPPD assigned five deputies in the morning and six deputies in the afternoon to watch two school buses and the cars around them.
For three of the bus stops, motorists observed and obeyed the stop arm on the bus.
On the fourth, however, three drivers rolled on past the extended stop arm and received citations.
These results match a similar stop that ocurred on Wednesday, December 12.
In that stop, dashboard surveillance video from a patrol car shows at least five cars breaking the law.
During that incident, only one officer was present, and he could only make one stop.
That’s why Capt. Kirk assigned more cars to this Wednesday’s bus stops.
“If the bus is hit in any way and that child is walking up the steps the injury to that child — there’s a very good possibility of that child being injured. That’s why it’s best to stop and let the child get on the bus,” Kirk said.
Passing a school bus results in a mandatory court date for the violator as well as a hefty fine and insurance points on the violator’s drivers license.