Marquette County Sheriff warns drivers to not pass stopped school buses

Violators could face a county fine of $200 and three points on their license
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 5:34 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - There is a major safety concern around school buses. Marquette County bus drivers are reporting an increase in other drivers passing them when they are stopped.

Kim Moon-Armbrecht is a bus driver for Marquette Area Public Schools. She says she and other drivers see people pass buses with red lights flashing on a weekly basis.

“Drivers appear to be in a hurry nowadays and not paying attention,” said Moon-Armbrecht. “They’re on their phones or they’re distracted by other people in the cars.”

Over the last two weeks, the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department has received complaints about a repeat violator passing a bus while stopped at the crossroads area in Sands Township. Sheriff Greg Zyburt says it is important to cite those offenders to protect kids.

“We just want them to go to school, be safe, and get home,” he said. “We will take every measure to catch people who do this type of thing.”

It is illegal nationwide to pass a school bus with the flashing lights and outstretched STOP arm. In Marquette County, those who are caught red-handed face a $200 fine and three points on their license.

The Marquette County Sheriff has had a program for the last four-plus years to have deputies sit on the buses to catch violators in any troubled areas.

“They have their body camera, and they videotape the subject,” Zyburt explained. “Then, they call on their radio to the other deputy in the patrol car, and they stop them and issue the citation.”

According to Moon-Armbrecht, that method has been a big help.

“It’s been a couple years, I believe, since we’ve had anybody on the bus,” she stated. “But, any help we can get we would greatly appreciate.”

If you see a car pass a school bus illegally, you are asked to write down the car’s license plate number and call the sheriff’s office.

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