ROCHESTER, Minn. - Monday, October 21 is the start of National School Bus Safety Week.
In the past, when a vehicle blows past a school bus stop-arm, the bus driver tries to write down as much information as possible about the driver and car to report to the police. If the bus driver isn't able to give enough information's it's difficult for the violator to be prosecuted.
When the reports came in, whoever is available at RPD would work on following up on them.
Now, the Rochester Police Department is changing the process of handling school bus stop-arm violation complaints.
"It just happens way too much and the kids are too important. We can't have a kid get hit," says Lt. Craig Anderson.
All reported violations will now be assigned to officers to conduct follow-up. RPD expects this process to allow police to find and cite violators more quickly and successfully.
RPD is also working with Rochester Public Schools and First Student to be proactive about stop-arm violators. Potentially, they may place officers on school buses to witness violations. They will be able to alert another officer in a squad car to immediately stop and cite the offender. Police will educate First Student bus drivers to better understand what evidence is required to successfully prosecute violators.