ALTOONA, IOWA — The Altoona Police Department has issued more citations to people driving through school bus stop signs this school year.
“It is quite alarming when you watch the videos and how blatantly disregarded the stop arm is that’s some precious cargo the bus driver is carrying that bus,” said Altoona Police Department Lieutenant Alyssa Wilson.
Lt. Wilson says the department issued a few citations for the 2020-2021 school year, but she says for the 2021- 2022 school year, officers have issued 32 citations.
“Those violations are captured on the school bus video camera, and also the bus driver calls out their plate number as the violator passes the stop arm,” said Lt. Wilson.
According to Iowa’s Department of Transportation, there are rules for drivers to follow. On two-lane roads, all traffic should stop for buses. On two-lane highways with a center turning lane, all traffic should stop. Moreover, all cars should also stop for school buses on three-lane roads. But if vehicles are traveling behind a school bus on a four-lane street, only vehicles traveling behind a school bus are required to stop.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office patrols Bondurant, Grimes, North Polk, and several other contracted areas.
“We investigate it thoroughly,” said Polk County Sheriff Lieutenant Ryan Evans.
“We usually find the person, and we’ll issue the citation. As far as the citations go, it is a finite amount that can be established and then also a suspension of the driver’s license, which is pretty severe or serious penalty,” said Lt. Evans.
Meanwhile, the Des Moines Police Department reports receiving 72 complaints of vehicles driving through stop signs.
However, the Altoona Police Department wants drivers to share the road. Lt. Wilson believes, “If you’re a driver, you have to take in your surroundings and make sure everyone is safe.”