(KLIX) – Obeying school bus stop signs is a lifesaving measure: by stopping when a bus extends its side STOP arm you will prevent yourself from hitting or fatally injuring a child.

And yet every day some drivers don't stop when a bus extends its stop sign. Why?

Law officers in Blaine County are on the ball, ready to ticket those who break the stop-arm law.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and Hailey Police Department joined the Blaine County School District this week to recognize National School Bus Safety Week.

Sheriff deputies and police officers were invited to ride in buses, where they have been monitoring traffic and help enforce stop-arm violations. Stop-arm violations have become a real problem, with about 144 violations reported by bus drivers in 2018, according to information from the agencies.

“Almost every school day in Blaine County, bus drivers report that a car does not stop to let students cross the street or a car drives around a bus while students are loading and unloading,” according to a joint news release by the school district and the two law enforcement agencies.

“This is called a stop-arm violation. It puts kids in danger, it’s illegal and it’s happening almost every school day in Blaine County.”

Further, the Hailey Police Department explained that according to Idaho code such a violation can cost the driver up to $600.

“It can cost you, and more importantly, it can cost one of our youth their life,” the department said. “Always be aware around school buses, be patient, and if you’re thinking it is safe to pass or overtake a stopped school bus, think again.”

The Idaho Transportation Department chimed in, saying:

“When you are behind the wheel, driving is the most important thing you can do. Make the choice to drive in the moment and free from distractions, make the SHIFT to engaged driving.”

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