MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Down East Clark Boulevard, you’ll find cars and Murfreesboro Lt. Greg Walker waiting.
“Distracted driving, being on the phone, whatever they are doing its not making them pay attention to what’s going on around them,” he said.
Walker, who works for the Murfreesboro Police Department’s traffic division, is already busy two weeks into the new school year
“Last week, we concentrated on the school zones…looking for children not restrained properly or parents, and other hazardous violations in the school zones, like people being on the phone, speeding, things like that,” he explained.
However, on Friday, Aug. 18, his focus was on school buses as part of a traffic safety enforcement event.
“We get several complaints throughout the year from city bus drivers, county bus drivers, the transportation department that says, ‘Hey, we’re having really bad problems with certain roadways where people are failing to stop for the school bus stop sign,'” said Walker.
Walker and the members of other law enforcement agencies who make up the Rutherford County Traffic Safety Task Force have been keeping an eye out for people breaking the law.
Since the task force launched in 2019, Walter said it’s been a huge help.
“The buses run for typically about two hours in the morning and then another couple hours in the afternoon, so obviously it takes some time to follow those buses around and try to get in some high visible areas, to try to catch some of these violators that are not paying attention,” he explained.
Why do drivers fail to stop? Walker has heard plenty of answers to that question.
“You hear a lot of different excuses, but those are primarily the two — they either didn’t see the bus because they were preoccupied doing something else, or they didn’t know if they had to stop or not,” he said.
While Walker said the task force can’t catch everybody, he hopes his presence can help keep everyone safe.
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“Just pay attention and slow down, buckle up, stay focused on the roadway,” the lieutenant recommended.
According to Walker, Rutherford County authorities wrote citations for four people Friday morning. He added that the task force plans to hold more traffic enforcement events over the next several months.