DOBSON, N.C. — The transportation director for a local school district has created a school bus safety campaign in an effort to reduce deaths related to stop-arm running.
Rodney Hardy’s “Stop for a LIFE!” campaign was spurred by the deaths of four children at school bus stops, Mount Airy News reports.
“Safety is our utmost concern when transporting students, which is the only reason for the campaign,” Hardy, who is the transportation director for Surry County Schools, told the newspaper. “This new logo captures the essence of what should happen at a bus stop. This is an awareness campaign as school begins to send a message to the public that acting safely at bus stops protects our children.”
The logo will appear on T-shirts in Surry County. They were designed by Hardy’s wife, Laura, who operates the Laura Hardy Creative Graphics firm. In addition to shirts, Mount Airy News reports that brochures have been printed, and volunteers are working on planning an event at a Walmart in Mount Airy, N.C., to promote bus safety and pass out safety materials.
In July, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law legislation that enacts stiffer penalties for motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
Under the enrolled version of the bill, if an individual passes a stopped school bus and strikes a person, the motorist would be guilty of a Class I felony and would receive a minimum fine of $1,250. If the person dies as a result of being struck, the motorist would be guilty of a Class H felony and would have to pay a minimum fine of $2,500.
The bill — known as The Hasani N. Wesley Students' School Bus Safety Act — also includes provisions regarding license revocation.
In this year's national stop-arm running survey, participating North Carolina school bus drivers counted 3,316 violations during one day.