Union County Public Schools in Monroe, North Carolina, has added extended stop arms to 30 of its buses to crack down on illegal passing incidents. - Photo courtesy Union County (N.C.) Public Schools

Union County Public Schools in Monroe, North Carolina, has added extended stop arms to 30 of its buses to crack down on illegal passing incidents.

Photo courtesy Union County (N.C.) Public Schools

A school district in Monroe, North Carolina, has equipped some of its school buses with extended stop arms to assist in the safety of students, bus drivers, and motorists.

Union County Public Schools (UCPS) added the longer stop arms, which attach to the regular stop arm and stick out 6 feet with the inclusion of the regular stop arm, to 30 of its buses, Gregory Denton, the district’s director of transportation, told School Bus Fleet.

The extended stop arms, which are made and sold by Bus Safety Solutions, were purchased using state funding and added to the district’s buses in June — ahead of a six-week summer learning program, according to Denton.

“The extended stop arms do two things, one is it provides an enhanced visual notification for approaching motorists that a passenger stop is being made,” Denton said in a news release from UCPS. “It also requires our drivers to focus on the passenger stop procedure, and part of that procedure requires them to check traffic in both directions before deploying their stop arm.”

Denton added in the release that the district may install more extended stop arms as time goes on, based on the experiences with the current devices.

“I’m hoping with this new safety feature we’ll make an impact on people running the stop arms,” Dottie Nash, a UCPS bus driver who has one of the extended stop arms on her bus, said in the district’s news release. “Sometimes I think that people just don’t pay attention and that is dangerous for the students that you’re trying to get across the road. I’m hoping that this will improve the safety of all of our students.”

UCPS reportedly plans to run about 230 school buses for the 2021-22 school year.

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