Local law enforcement cracking down on drivers illegally passing school buses

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Law enforcement officers across Sedgwick County will out on the streets next week to monitor for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office is partnering with First Student and police departments in Wichita, Haysville and Maize for the National School Bus Safety Week enforcement. 

Lt. Tim Myers with the sheriff's office said Friday that officers will be riding buses next Monday through Friday to catch stop arm violators.

"The top priority is the safety of our children," Lt. Myers said. "No warnings will be given. And with the fine and court costs, that's a $425 citation."

He added that those who are cited for not stopping for a school bus are not eligible for diversion. 

A First Student spokesperson said that drivers recording 493 violations in one day during a survey earlier this school year.

"I think society in general at this time doesn't pay attention like they used to," Lt. Myers said, "because you have too many distractions, whether they're texting and driving, just talking on the phone. I believe some people just don't pay attention when they drive."

(MORE: Kansas drivers illegally passed 1,040 school buses in 1 day, survey shows)

Drivers in Kansas are required by law to come to a complete stop when approaching a stopped school bus displaying its flashing lights and stop arm. All traffic in both directions must stop, whether on a two- or four-lane road. 

On a divided highway with a median separation, traffic approaching the bus from behind must stop. Motorists are to remain idled until the bus is no longer displaying its flashing lights and stop arm.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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