Running a school bus stop sign could cost you a hefty ticket and potentially a child's life.
"I've seen them texting, I've seen women putting on makeup, I've seen kids jumping around the car just distracting their parents. You wouldn't believe the stuff you see of people running your stop arm," said bus driver Bryan Matthews.
Working with Nampa PD, Brown Bus Company, who busses all of Nampa School District, reports there have been 50 bus arm violations already this year, and more than triple that number of non-reportable claims, meaning incidents where the bus driver wasn't able to report all details.
"Description of the driver, type of the car, and the license number, what time it was and where it was at. If you've got a lot of kids getting off at that stop, you've got to make sure they're not getting off until you tell them to," says Matthews.
The root of the problem isn't always texting or outside distractions. Some people don't know the full law. According to Idaho law, the arm controls up to three lanes of traffic, meaning if there's 3 or fewer lanes of traffic, either way, you're required to stop when the sign is out. A large portion of the violations happens on roads with 3 or fewer lanes.
“ if there are three lanes of traffic, the center turn lane sometimes they don't think they need to stop because they're the center turn lane, but in actuality, they do need to stop," says operations manager Brent Carpenter.
Parents also worry about their kids getting to and from school safely. Jamie Woodbury worries about her niece's safety, especially since she sees teens her age distracted themselves.
"Before they even get on the bus they're talking with all of their friends, they're not paying attention to what traffic is doing," said Woodbury.
If you're on a road with more than three lanes, only the lanes driving the same direction as the bus need to stop. Remember to always drive with caution around them.