MELBOURNE, Fla. — A school superintendent here was pulled over recently for failing to stop for a school bus during a police campaign to educate motorists on school bus safety laws.
The Melbourne Police Department told Florida Today that Desmond Blackburn, the superintendent of Brevard Public Schools, was pulled over on March 27 at about 8 a.m. while driving his district-issued SUV.
Blackburn was pulled over as part of the police department’s “Operation BUSted,” a new campaign that aims to reduce the number of vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses. The campaign began in early February with police officers visiting car loops at elementary and middle schools in Melbourne to provide safety information and answer questions about rules related to the passing of school buses, according to a news release from the Melbourne Police Department. Police also conducted outreach to student drivers at each of the city’s three high schools, and then began stepping up enforcement at school bus stops across the city.
Blackburn told Florida Today that he appreciated that Melbourne Police was reminding drivers of school bus safety laws and that he “was one of the drivers that received a reminder.” Blackburn only received a warning, but the maximum penalty for passing a school bus with its stop arm extended in Brevard County is a $274 fine and four points on the driver’s license.
During Operation BUSted, the Melbourne Police Department issued 115 citations and 14 written warnings from Feb. 26 to March 29, according to the police department’s Facebook page.