DUNCAN, OK (RNN Texoma) - Duncan Public School buses have black ribbons on their mirrors in honor of the lives lost due to stop arm violations.
The DPS transportation director, LeeAnn Millan, said drivers experience these violations every day.
“I have three bus drivers that report daily violations,” said Millan.
“It’s been an ongoing problem," said John Pace, a DPS bus driver. "They run them at the high school when we’re loading. They run them at the elementary. We had one driver, I was riding with him one day, and he kind of blocked the middle of the road, right on Elder, and the driver actually went up in the yard and went around.”
As a way to document violations, DPS is installing cameras on every school bus.
“When we have a stop arm violation, the driver is very focused on trying to get the students safely on the bus or to have them stand away," said Millan. "When they notice a car is going to run their stop arm, they don’t get all the details of a stop arm violation, and so the cameras will allow us to focus on the student and let the cameras do their job and to record all the important information.”
In Oklahoma, penalties could include fines up to $500. Millan said she hopes the black ribbons will raise awareness and encourage drivers to obey the stop arm signal.
“The thought of a mother losing a child is just horrendous," said Millan. "It’s just something I cannot fathom, losing one of my own children. So, I want to bring as much awareness as I can. Every time I think about the stop arm violation, it just breaks my heart because these are all preventable accidents. There’s no reason we should have to report any stop arm violations, or bury our children.”