BOISE, Idaho — Monday is the first day of school for many students across the state, and students aren’t the only ones who need to get back into routine. Police agencies across the state are ramping up patrols over the next few weeks to help drivers get back into the swing of things as well. They’ll be watching for speeding, crosswalk violations, and those who don’t stop when a school bus stop arm is extended; that violation carries a heftier fine this year.
“Now, the first school bus violation for a driver that drives past a stop arm on a bus, is a $200 fine,” said Cpl. Kyle Wills with the Boise Police Department.
That’s a change made by the Idaho State Legislature during the 2019 Legislative Session. If you drive past a stop arm on a school bus, that carries a fine of no less than $200 for a first offense; no less than $400 for a second offense; and no less than $600 for a third offense.
“If you’re on a road with three or less lanes, all traffic going both directions is required to stop when that stop arm comes out,” said Wills.
And if you’re driving on a road with four lanes or more, traffic going in the same direction of the bus is required to stop, but traffic coming toward the bus can keep moving.
“We do see, typically with the start of school, we see an increased number of crashes,” said Wills.
That is why the Boise Police Department and the Office of Highway Safety teamed up to receive a grant to help fund additional patrols around school zones for the first few weeks of school.
“What it will do is it will provide for extra officers that wouldn’t normally be working, to be on the streets,” said Wills.
And they’ll be watching for more than school bus arm violations. They’ll be on the lookout for those speeding through the 20 miles per hour school zones, which carries a fine of $156.50, and those who don’t stop at crosswalks, a fine of $75.
Many school districts across the Treasure Valley begin school this coming Monday, August 19th, and any schools that don’t, begin the following week, so be on the lookout for where you’re driving.