CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Chesapeake Police are on a mission to make the streets safer for children this school year.
New road signs are popping up around the city, warning drivers that stopping for the bus is not optional - it’s the law.
“I'm here to hopefully make it safer for the children, but also for the bus drivers,” said Chesapeake Police Department Sgt. Kenneth Byrd.
The signs read, “Stop for school buses, both directions, when red lights flashing.”
It’s a simple task many either ignore or don’t know to do.
Police say nearly 5,700 citations were issued last school year in Chesapeake for bus stop violations.
Byrd and the department identified areas where violations are significantly higher than average and worked with the city to put signs in the areas to remind drivers to stop.
“Heaven forbid they end up, you know, getting struck by a car because the southbound driver was still going when the bus stopped on the northbound side of the roadway,” he explained.
Chesapeake Police say the bus stop at Battlefield Boulevard near Welch Lane had 184 violations issued in the last year, the fourth highest total in the city.
Some stops have upwards of 200 violations compared to others with a few dozen, according to police.
“You're going to see the signs on either end of the bus stop and you're going to know, 'Hey, there's a bus stop coming up. OK, I don't see a bus, keep on going. There's a bus; it might be about to stop,’” Byrd said.
The signs are going up in 10 locations for now. Police say more could go up, but they hope drivers will get the message before that’s necessary.