March 29, 2007

Police Putting a Stop to Those Who Do Not Stop For School Buses

In a town without a single stoplight, traffic flow is generally light enough to take care of itself.

However recently the Memphis Police Department has begun to crack down on a growing public safety concern involving school children. This year officers have written several tickets for failure to obey stop signs on school buses.

Under Missouri statute 304.050 subsection 1:

The driver of a vehicle upon a highway upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children and whose driver has in the manner prescribed by law given the signal to stop, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by its driver to proceed.

This legislation was enacted to insure a safe environment for the loading and unloading of children on school buses.

Memphis Police Chief John Myers stated the department does not offer any leniency in this type of situation.

If you pass a school bus, it is an automatic ticket, Myers stated. There are no warnings.

Myers also indicated the department has stepped up patrols around the school in an effort to insure pedestrian safety and warned motorists to be aware of the specific traffic laws that surround the area, including the stop signs and speed limits.

Missouri law states that any person who violates subsection 1 of section 304.050 is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Since 2005, the court may also suspend the drivers license of any person who violates the provision of subsection 1 of section 304.050 for up to 90 days for a first offense. Any person who violates subsection 1 of section 304.050 where such violation results in the injury of any child shall be guilty of a class D felony. Any person who violates subsection 1 of section 304.050 where such violation causes the death of any child shall be guilty of a class C felony.

A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and or a fine of up to $1,000.

The current Scotland County probate court fine schedule calls for a total fine and court costs of $137 for such a ticket.

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