Lufkin Police cracking down on school bus laws

LUFKIN, TX (Lufkin Police) - For the entire week of October 26-30, the Lufkin Police Department has teamed up with the Lufkin Independent School District in a joint enforcement effort as part of the National School Bus Safety month awareness campaign.

Uniformed officers from the Police Department Traffic Division are riding on school buses each morning and afternoon this week to help enforce the law against motorists who failed to stop for the school buses as they loaded and unloaded children.  The officers on the bus act as observers and call violations in to traffic officers in marked patrol cars who make the stops and write the citations.

As of Thursday morning at 9:00am, officers had written seven (7) citations for Failure to Stop for School Bus Loading/Unloading.  Officers ride one to two routes per shift on bus routes throughout the city.

"We place a high priority on the safety of our children and we're pleased to partner with Lufkin ISD in this effort to protect our children." said Lufkin Police Chief Scott Marcotte.

"This is something we plan on continuing once or twice a month throughout the school year" said Sgt. David Walker of the traffic division.

According to Safety Supervisor Stacy Lampkin with the Lufkin ISD transportation division, bus safety is critical to their mission.  Bus drivers are taught to angle their buses in the roadway to draw extra attention to them when they are stopped for loading and unloading and they make every effort to drop children off at their stop so they don't have to cross major roads.

"While it can happen anywhere, the major roads are where most violations occur" said Lampkin.  "Roadways of three of more lanes pose the biggest hazard for children getting on and off a school bus."

State law requires motorists to stop for school buses stopped with the lights flashing while boarding and dropping off children.  Motorists on the opposite of a divided highway do not have to stop.  A divided roadway is one divided by a median or solid barrier, such as Loop 287.  A center turn lane is not a barrier and motorists are required to stop on roadways such as Atkinson Drive, Frank Ave, N. Raguet St., Chestnut Drive and all other undivided roadways and highways.