AISD school bus stop-arm violations top 1,000

The holiday break provided AISD Police only a short amount of time to work through a long list of school bus stop arm violations.

"In about 30 minutes you can clear about 60 to 70 violations,” said AISD Police Chief Eric Mendez.

The Chief and his team have been busy since enforcement began in early February. Monday they worked through more than 500 incidents waiting to be reviewed.

"It’s really disturbing we have individuals that are not watching for the buses, I’m mean they are not hard to miss,” said the Chief.

From February 8th through March 23rd, 1,039 citations were issued against drivers who failed to stop after a school bus deployed its flashing stop arm.

"What’s really surprising is you'll get follow the leader, one car will go and so others ones will go that’s behind it, “ said Chief Mendez.

Some incidents defy explanation like a recent case on Northhills Drive. Video shows a police officer in the road monitoring traffic near a school. As he walks by a school bus a car passes him from behind while the warning system is deployed.

Montopolis Dr., according to the Chief is the main hot spot for offenders . There are also other problem areas.

"They happen all over the place, I've seen violations occur from everywhere off of  Anderson, Spicewood, to Manchaca, to Lamar, north Lamar was close to being a hot spot we were getting quite a few violations there during the day."

Being caught on camera brings a $300 fine. Its more expensive when caught by an officer. The citation increases to $500.

An early analysis shows that drivers continue to have a hard time understanding the rules of the road when multiple lanes are involved.

"It actually has to be a built divider, concrete divider, or grassy median for you to be able to pass on the opposite side of the roadway,” said Chief Mendez.

Here's the law; you cannot pass a stopped bus on a 2 lane road -- or on a road with a center turn lane. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction can pass on a divided highway, only if there is a barrier or grass median.

"Again its on these busier roadways, where there are two lanes, a turn lane, and two lanes,  that somehow individuals believe they don’t have to stop traveling the opposite direction but there is no median and there is no divider so you have to stop,” said the Chief.

Currently 200 buses have the video enforcement system. Another 100 cameras will be installed by the end of April.