Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - — Staff re­port

GEN­TRY — Fred Thomp­son, 75, of Decatur, was cited and re­leased in con­nec­tion with fail­ure to stop for a stopped school bus on the af­ter­noon of March 5 in Gen­try.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice re­ports and a re­port of the bus driver, a Gen­try school bus was stopped and drop­ping off pas­sen­gers in the north­bound lane of Pioneer Lane at Avalon when a south­bound 2008 Ford Taurus in the far right lane failed to stop for the bus which had red lights flash­ing and the stop sign ex­tended.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice re­ports, Thomp­son said he was watch­ing his speed and did not re­al­ize he had passed a stopped school bus.

When a school bus stops and dis­plays its al­ter­nat­ing red warn­ing lights for the pur­pose of load­ing or un­load­ing pas­sen­gers, Arkansas code re­quires driv­ers of mo­tor ve­hi­cles meet­ing or over­tak­ing the school bus from any di­rec­tion to bring their mo­tor ve­hi­cles to a com­plete stop be­fore reach­ing the school bus and to not start up or at­tempt to pass in any di­rec­tion un­til the school bus has fin­ished load­ing or un­load­ing its pas­sen­gers and is mov­ing again. An ex­cep­tion is made for multi-lane di­vided high­ways of four or more lanes with a di­vider of 20 or more feet be­tween the lanes in which the bus is stopped and the lanes of an ap­proach­ing mo­tor ve­hi­cle.

Penal­ties when a driver is found guilty, ac­cord­ing to Arkansas Code (27-51-1001), in­clude fines be­tween $250 and $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, pos­si­ble com­mu­nity ser­vice and sus­pen­sion of driv­ing priv­i­leges from 21 days to one year.

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