KEYSER - Mineral County Schools has recently installed an extended “Stop Arm” on one of the county buses due to an increase in Stop Arm violations this year.

For the News Tribune
KEYSER - Mineral County Schools has recently installed an extended “Stop Arm” on one of the county buses due to an increase in Stop Arm violations this year.
Bus #57-16, driven by Gary Martin, now has a new tool to increase student safety on his route. This year Martin has reported nearly 10 stop arm violations while dropping off students on U. S. Route 220. In response to his complaints, Kenny Baker, director of support services for the county, decided to have an extended Stop Arm Device installed on Martin’s bus. Since the installation two weeks ago, there has not been a single violation reported by Martin.
Yearly, approximately 20 students are killed in the U. S. by drivers not yielding to school bus stop arms, and hundreds of children are injured. Reasons vary from impairment due to drugs and alcohol, to distracted driving because of cell phone usage. Despite the reason, the results are the same. A family is crushed with the loss of a child, those involved are devastated, and communities are left asking how this could happen.
In recent years the West Virginia Legislature has increased the penalty for running a school bus stop sign (arm).  A first offense penalty for running a stop arm is a fine of $500 to $1,000, or being confined in jail not more than six months, plus a possible 60-day suspension of your driver’s license. A second offense carries a $1,000 to $1,500 fine and/or confined in jail for up to six months, plus a possible 180-day license suspension. Finally, a third offense carries a minimum of a $2,000 fine, and/or a minimum 48 hours to six months in jail, plus a possible one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
Most recently, a subsection of the law was added allowing police to cite the vehicle owner where the driver of the vehicle is not identified.
Each school bus is equipped with a camera that records the offender’s vehicle and tag number. This year, front facing cameras will be installed on all new buses to aid in the identification of the driver. The penalties for running a school bus stop arm are strict, but the terrible implications of running a stop arm and killing a child are real.
The Mineral County Schools bus garage and bus operators ask all other motorist to please pay attention. “The safe transportation of our community’s children is paramount and we cannot do it without the cooperation of everyone.”