The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted Operation School Bus Stop Safety. This plan was to address unsafe vehicular traffic interactions between school buses, the children riding the buses and public vehicles during morning and afternoon pick-up/drop-off of children. Since the beginning of the school year, there have been multiple complaints that vehicles are violating Florida Statute by failing to stop for the red traffic STOP ARMS while school buses are loading and unloading children at bus stops which is placing children in dangerous and potentially life threatening situations.
The operation was conducted during the week of November 6, 2018. Deputies rode on the buses to observe the driving actions of passing vehicles and oncoming traffic. During this time, there were no violations observed.
Sheriff Noel E. Stephen stated, “I will continue to conduct this type of proactive traffic enforcement to ensure the safety of our children. It is my hope and prayer that drivers obey the school bus laws and no summons or citations have to be issued.”
Slow down and stop if you're driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off.
School bus safety is a high priority in Okeechobee. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, transportation personnel and the motoring public all play important roles in keeping our children safe while on or around the school bus.
We do not want to have to explain to a parent why their child is not coming home.
Michele Bell, PIO