Murfreesboro police start new campaign to catch bus stop sign violators

Local News

Sergeant Scott Newberg with Murfreesboro Police hears the same complaints from bus drivers every day.  

“Children getting on and off the bus and cars blowing past them with the lights on,” Newberg said. 

Speeders are ignoring stop signs on school buses, putting kids at risk.  

“It’s pretty bad,” Newberg said. “They’ll call in. They’ll have tag numbers.”  

But Newberg says calling it in isn’t enough. 

On Monday, the police department along with Murfreesboro City Schools launched a new campaign called S.T.O.P which stands for Student Travel Outreach Program. 

A dramatic public service announcement was released as a part of the campaign launch. It shows a mother driving past a stopped school bus about to hit her own child.  

“We really wanted to put people in the position of having to think about what if it was their child,” Newberg said. 

The campaign also includes flyers and community events explaining the rules for stopped school buses.  

Last year, 37 tickets were issued in Murfreesboro for passing a stopped school bus. Seven tickets were issued so far this year.  

“I think it’s way too high,” Newberg said. “I think one is way too high.”  

Last year, Mt. Juliet Police did something similar, releasing surveillance video of a driver about to speed past a stopped school bus while a student was getting off. 

The campaign will also address texting and driving in school zones. 

“We’ve almost had a couple crossing guards who were almost hit by vehicles this year,” Newberg said.  “The driver was holding their phone in their hand.”  

Aeriela Watkins and other parents say the campaign is a good idea for keeping their kids and others safe. 

“They could hit a child and that could be a life lost when it could have been prevented,” Watkins said. 

“I know that people are busy and need to go places, but the safety of our children is top priority at least for me,” said parent Andrea Osgood. 

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