Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office launches school bus safety campaign

School-Safety

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has launched an awareness campaign in response to the growing number of bus stop incidents in Middle Tennessee and nationwide.

It’s the biggest concern for school bus drivers in Rutherford County – drivers running stop signs.

“We get reports of it on a daily basis,” said Jason Everett, Transportation Director for Rutherford County Schools.

It’s the driving force behind Operation Bus Stop, a new campaign focusing on school bus safety in Rutherford County.

Sergeant Bill West is the brains behind the idea.

“We can’t rely on the adults enough by themselves, those violating,” said Sgt. West. “Now we have to rely more on the children.”

The campaign is two-fold – part education.

“If you board the bus, there’s a reason for the long arm. To keep you in front of the bus so the driver can see you,” said Sgt. West. “If you’re crossing the street to get on the bus, it’s important to wait for the driver to motion you.”

Part enforcement.

There are 10 dedicated officers for this campaign looking for bus stop violators.

They’re mainly at high traffic areas, but you likely won’t be able to see them in their unmarked units.

The Sheriff’s Office said so far in the campaign, there have been two citations, two more Thursday morning.

The high-risk areas include Cason Ln., Murfreesboro Rd., Bradyville Pike.

Corporal Michael Rodgers said he sees violators daily as the area’s growth puts more stress on commutes.

He said his best advice is to be patient.

“If you’re in a hurry, just understand that you’re going to be late and you’re not going to make up any time,” said Cpl. Rodgers. “It takes a school bus 15 seconds to pick up a child. You can wait 15 seconds. You’re not going to make up hours of time.”

Citations begin at $325.

The campaign ends Friday.

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