SCHP troopers cracking down on stop-arm violations

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 7:43 AM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - State troopers are placing extra sets of eyes on some Grand Strand roads in hopes of cutting down on stop-arm violations.

A stop-arm violation is when a driver speeds past a school bus despite the bus signaling traffic to stop.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol said it’s seen more than 2,000 violations since the beginning of the school year, but only a fraction of those violations is in Horry County.

However, SCHP works with Horry County School District to identify areas where they see the most violations and ramp up the number of officers in those spots.

SCHP said those areas include roads near Highway 17 Business, Highway 544 and 4th Avenue in Conway.

Sergeant Matt Southern, Highway Patrol school bus safety coordinator, said if you see a school bus slowing down or stopping, be ready to hit your breaks.

“People just need to anticipate that when they see school buses, particularly in the morning or afternoon hours, they’re going to make frequent stops. They’re going to load and unload students, so we need to be very vigilant anytime we’re around that yellow school bus,” said Southern.

Passing a stopped school bus could result in someone getting hurt and could leave you paying more than $1,000 in fines and tacking six points onto your license.

Bus drivers are required to report stop arm violations, and troopers then use the bus’s cameras to track down those drivers.

Southern said getting kids to school safely is the entire community’s job.

“School bus safety is a joint effort. School bus safety includes the parents, the children that ride those buses, the bus driver, the school district, law enforcement, but the most important is that other motorists sharing the roadway. We gotta do our part to make sure we’re keeping kids safe,” said Southern.

No one can pass in either direction on a two-lane road when a bus stops.

On multi-lane roads, those traveling in the same direction as a bus must stop, but if you’re driving in the opposite direction, you are not required to stop.