Remember to stop when children are boarding and exiting a school bus!
With school buses in and out of neighborhoods throughout the year, drivers should expect to wait when the bus's stop sign arm is extended while children are boarding and exiting the bus. That seems an obvious point, but Arizona school bus drivers annually report about 13,000 motorists for not stopping as required.
A process created in 2021 allows the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division to send warning letters more efficiently to owners of vehicles that were reported as not stopping for the school bus stop sign.
Using an online form, bus drivers can send a complaint of a stop sign violator directly to ADOT's Motor Vehicle Division. MVD then sends a notification letter, which is not a citation but rather sent to raise awareness, to the vehicle owner as an effort to call attention to the seriousness of running the stop sign, which allows students to get on and off the bus along with safely crossing the street.
Until now, school bus drivers would fax forms to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which then emailed or faxed the reports to MVD.
“Oftentimes, the reports were in batches and difficult to read, and it put DPS in the middle,” said MVD Senior Division Administrator Susan Trask. “We created an online form for the bus drivers to complete, removing DPS completely from the process, and making the submission electronic. This removed the need to fill out a form to fax or email.”
These letters carry no punishment or sanction. Motorists, who are issued citations by law enforcement officers for passing a school bus when a stop arm is extended, could face a civil penalty and possibly a suspended driver license under state law.