GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (11/12/2018) - "We were just getting complaints from bus drivers, from parents and also, with what's happened nationally, we thought it was time that we needed to step up our efforts," said Grand Blanc Township Police Sergeant Scott Theede.
He said the goal is to keep students safe and educate drivers throughout Grand Blanc Township.
Sgt. Theede and several officers watched the 25 bus stops around town Monday morning to catch the law breakers.
"The fine can be up to $195 and 3 points; and, a magistrate or judge can assess another 100 hours of community in a school," he explained.
Sgt. Theede said four drivers are dealing with that penalty after Monday's patrol.
"Three of them that I witnessed from the unmarked vehicle, they were all opposite direction, where the bus was going say eastbound, they were coming westbound and failed to stop for the red lights once they were out," Sgt. Theede said.
He explained that's a common misunderstanding for drivers, "The only time, if you're traveling in the opposite direction of a bus that you don't have to stop, is if those lanes are divded by either a raised median or a grassy area."
Because Sergeant Theede said kids might need to cross the street, plus he added they're always unpredictable.
"You never know what they're going to do; and so as the adults, as the drivers, we have to be the ones who are in control," he said.
And, to help keep their students safe, Sergeant Theede is asking all parents to remind their kids of proper bus stop protocal.
"Parents need to talk to their kids about staying off of the roadway, not running around," he said. "They wait 'til that bus gets there, comes to a complete stop, the doors open, that's when it's safe for them to move."
Sgt. Theede added this is the first of many stepped up bus safety patrols. They'll be randomly watching mornings and afternoons shifts throughout the rest of this school year.