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Oklahoma City drivers need to watch for bus penalties

About 145 people have had their licenses suspended in the state for not stopping for a school bus when loading or unloading children, according to the state Public Safety Department.
By LeighAnne Manwarren, Staff Writer Modified: March 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm •  Published: March 16, 2014
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Sometimes officers will direct a patrol to a certain area after receiving complaints from schools, but often, officers cite motorists when officers see the violation while on patrol.

Joyce said the response most people give when being pulled over varies between not having enough time to stop, not knowing why they were pulled over or admitting to driving past the school bus.

“If they have been open and honest, the officer may decide to issue a verbal warning ... It may make it an education experience for the person as opposed to giving them a citation, but that is up to the officer’s discretion,” Joyce said.

Lane said he thinks violations happen at least once a day and more frequently during the afternoons.

When children get off the bus, they are told to walk about 12 feet in front of the bus and look to the driver, who will motion for them to cross the street when the street is clear, Lane said.

“We just encourage people to wait a few seconds for a bus to clear,” Lane said. “It’s worth keeping the kids safe.”

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At a glance

About Aaron’s Law

Aaron’s Law tightened various traffic laws. It was named for Aaron Zentz, a 17-year-old from Yukon who was killed when a motorist ran a red light. It went into effect November 2011.

Through February, a total of 145 driver’s licenses have been suspended for failure to stop for a school bus loading and unloading children, 46 were suspended for failure to obey traffic light/stop signs causing great bodily injury and 225 were suspended for reckless driving with no regard to the safety of others.

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