Burlington police officers take part in school bus safety campaign

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The Burlington Police Department and the Alamance-Burlington School System are teaming up to reinforce school bus safety laws for drivers and students.

Each week, officers with the city’s traffic division will ride school buses, interacting with students and catching people who pass buses while their stop arms are out.

“It’s very frustrating because it’s a life at stake,” said DeShannon McCoy Williams, a 30-year veteran bus driver.

Their goal is to raise awareness while putting the children’s safety first. Yancey says they’ve done this campaign before but recently started it back up because of tragic accidents happening around the nation involving kids getting off buses and getting killed.

“The biggest issue that you can experience is you strike a child and kill a child if you pass a stopped school bus. That’s the reason we’re doing the reinforcement action is to keep our children safe,” said Lt. Mark Yancey, with Burlington police.

Bus driver Tasha Miles blame the lack of attention and rushing to get to their destination with why drivers try to pass stopped school buses.

“What you’re thinking is, 'Oh it’s just a bus and I’m just going to go about my way.' But you never know when a kid might dart in front of your car," Miles said.

Burlington police issued one citation Thursday to a driver who passed a stopped school bus.