Stop Arm Violations on the Rise
As a school district, our number one focus above all else is ensuring student safety. We are committed to ensuring that we get all students to and from school each day as safely as possible. Gasconade County R-1 School District covers 370 square miles spanning four counties. Our drivers are traveling over 1000 miles each day. Unfortunately, the most dangerous miles we travel are the ones right here in the town of Hermann, especially on Market Street. The number of stop arm violations has drastically increased this year. We have had as many as four reports in one day.
Our buses primarily travel from 6:30 am to 7:45 am as well as 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm each day. Please remember if a bus has yellow flashing lights engaged, please slow down and prepare to stop. Be alert as children are in the area getting ready to move towards the bus or exit the bus. Once the red lights are engaged, you are required to STOP, per Missouri State Statute 304.050 which states:
304.050. School buses, drivers to stop for, when — signs required on buses — crossing control arm — bus driver responsibilities — driver identity rebuttable presumption, when (Jessica's Law). — 1. (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.
When the stop arms and red lights are flashing, students are moving towards or away from the bus. This is when students are most at risk. This statute clearly states that on a two-lane road, regardless of turn lanes, all lanes are required to come to a complete stop when a school bus is stopped and has red lights flashing, stop signs, and stop arms engaged.
It truly takes all of us in our community as well as visitors to Hermann to ensure our kids arrive safe. Please be extra vigilant during our morning pick-up times as well as our drop-off times, especially when a bus is in the area.