Metro police stepping up enforcement during back-to-school to make sure drivers stop for buses

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — As students had back to school, some Kansas educators worry about their safety while traveling to and from the classroom.

Drivers are supposed to stop when seeing a school bus loading or unloading kids — but sometimes that doesn’t happen.

In fact, a recent survey found more than 1,000 Kansas drivers illegally passed a school bus during a one-day test back in April.

Overland Park police said their school resource officers have been doing traffic enforcement within school zones and at school bus stops both before and after class.

“This time of year, we start to focus on school bus safety, and I think that comes in two different forms,” Overland Park Police Sgt. Zack Stephens said.

Stephens said one of their focuses this time of year is on stranger danger at area bus stops.

“Johnson County at large is a pretty safe place, but I think we always need to be on guard,” he said. “Don’t talk to strangers. If someone is around or a car that makes you uncomfortable, make sure you call and say something.”

Their other focus is on traffic safety. Stephens said it’s important for drivers to pay attention.

“My best piece of advice is to try and leave early. Give yourself enough time to get around the traffic, to wait in those lines patiently, stay off your mobile devices and try to follow the rules of the road,” he said.

The Grain Valley Police Department tweeted photos Tuesday, showing their school resource officer following buses to make sure all drivers stop when they see the bus stop-arm down.

Stephens said children should always walk in front of a bus, never behind it. If you’re waiting for your bus to arrive, it’s always good to wait with the parents or in a group and to stay at least 6 feet from the edge of the road.

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