Operation Stop Arm was a local success

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2005

AHOSKIE – &uot;Operation Stop Arm&uot; has concluded.

However, local and state Highway Patrol troopers will remain vigilant in enforcing school bus stop arm violations and enforcing all traffic violations around schools.

During last week’s &uot;Operation Stop Arm,&uot; state troopers issued more than 2,800 charges. Statewide, 1,133 motorists were ticketed for speeding and 606 citations were written for seatbelt and child seat violations.

In addition, 236 tickets were doled out for improper driver’s license; 29 for passing a stopped school bus; 27 were charged with DWI, including four under the age of 21, and 778 were cited for various other traffic violations.

In the three-county area (Bertie, Gates, Hertford) covered by the Highway Patrol’s Troop A office in Ahoskie, First Sgt. B.A. Jones reported a total of 23 tickets were written while local troopers were taking part in the program. Fortunately, none of the motor vehicle infractions were in violation of the laws governing school buses and school zones.

&uot;Our troopers randomly followed 20 local school buses and no one violated any of the laws pertaining to their travel on our roads,&uot; Sgt. Jones said.

The majority of the local citations dealt with failing to properly buckle-up and for speeding.

Statewide, troopers followed more than 1,400 buses and participated in ride-a-longs on 163 school buses.

&uot;Operation Stop Arm&uot; was created by the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety in support of &uot;Watch Out for the Child&uot; week, as proclaimed by Gov. Mike Easley. Across the state, some troopers rode with children on school buses and others followed the buses. Troopers increased patrols in school zones and used marked and unmarked patrol cars and motorcycles during the operation.

&uot;Even though this program is over, that will not prevent us from keeping a close eye on the safety of young schoolchildren as it pertains to their travel aboard buses or in and around school zones,&uot; Sgt. Jones noted. &uot;This is an issue we take very seriously every day that buses are operating on the roads here in Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties.&uot;