District Catches Stop-Arm Runners With ‘Badges on Buses’

By Kelly Roher

NORMAN, Okla. — Last week, a group of Norman police officers partnered with Norman Public Schools to cite motorists for illegally passing stopped school buses for an initiative called “Badges on Buses.”

Assistant Director of Transportation Christy Clemons told SBF that the initiative was implemented to improve safety.

“The concept is fairly simple: One officer rides the bus, while other officers remain nearby, following the bus in unmarked units,” Clemons explained. “If the officer on the bus observes a vehicle failing to stop for the bus while it is loading or unloading passengers, the violator’s description and direction of travel is radioed to the accompanying officers, who take enforcement action.”

She added that officers only cited a handful of drivers for violations in the week. The department and police plan to participate in the Badges on Buses initiative periodically throughout the school year.

In Oklahoma, penalties for stop-arm violations can include fines from $50 to $750 and/or 60 days in jail, at the judge’s discretion. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety may also suspend the violator’s driver’s license upon conviction.

Kelly Roher is managing editor for School Bus Fleet magazine.

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