The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

November 21, 2012

Police cite motorists in school bus safety sweep

CHARLESTON — Fifty-five percent of bus routes targeted by a week-long effort to stop motorists who illegally pass school buses ended with multiple violators receiving tickets and fines.

During National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 22-26, West Virginia State Police troopers boarded school buses on select trouble routes in Cabell, Jefferson, Hampshire, Harrison, Kanawha, Marshall, Mercer, Raleigh and Wood counties. Police issued seven citations and one warning ticket to motorists who ignored the school bus’s flashing red lights and extended stop arm, according to data collected by the West Virginia Department of Education. Troopers witnessed multiple violations on some routes while others did not see violations.

“We are appreciative of our partnership with the State Police and other organizations to keep our children safe,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple.

“We cannot allow motorists to continue to put the lives of our children at risk of injury or death. When motorists fail to obey the law, they endanger the lives of our children, our drivers and themselves.”

The safety sweep, the second in six months, was announced the same day a Nicholas County girl suffered a broken leg and foot when she was struck by a motorist after getting off the school bus in Summersville. The 8-year-old, a student at Summersville Elementary, is recovering from her injury, which required surgery.

“This accident illustrates how serious this problem is,” Marple said. “We are fortunate that she was not more seriously injured. Motorists who fail to stop for our buses endanger the lives of our children 90,000 times each year. That is just unacceptable.”

Results of the 2012 National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation survey of county transportation directors found that about 450 motorists illegally passed stopped school buses in one day in West Virginia. In Mercer County, 88 motorists illegally passed school buses the day of the survey. Kanawha was second with 37, while Cabell had 35.

“Our recent partnership with the West Virginia Board of Education has confirmed the fact that education and enforcement efforts must be continued if we are to provide a safer environment for West Virginia’s most valuable resources — our children,” said State Police Col. C.R. “Jay” Smithers.

Drivers who fail to stop when a school bus stops and flashes its warning lights can be charged with a felony if their actions result in injury or death and also can lose their license. A driver who causes an injury faces up to three years in prison; a driver who kills someone could be put in prison for up to 10 years. Those who simply fail to stop can be charged with a misdemeanor and jailed up to six months.

Other partners in the school bus safety effort include the Charleston Police Department, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute, West Virginia Media, and the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, which has helped with the placement of public service announcement posters at convenience stores statewide.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699. Broadcast-ready public service announcements recorded by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin as well as video and audio recorded by Marple are available at

Text Only
Local News
  • 080414 FT science plume.jpg Rousing conclusion to summer reading program

    The Lively Family Amphitheater turned into one big science laboratory Tuesday.


    August 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo