Mtn. Grove School District receives safety grant - Mountain Grove News-Journal : News

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Mtn. Grove School District receives safety grant

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Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 3:43 pm

The Mountain Grove School District has been awarded a school safety grant in the amount of $7,895 from The Missouri School Boards’ Association through its Missouri Center for Education Safety (CES).  The funds will be used by the district to install additional stop arm cameras on their school bus fleet.  

The district competed with other public schools in the state for a limited amount of funding, which is aimed at enhancing school safety in local school districts.  The funding for this initiative was made possible through a legislative appropriation to the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and that is being administered by MSBA through CES, which is the state’s school safety center.  The CES provides comprehensive support to all schools in Missouri, through training, technical assistance, and other safety related initiatives.   More information on this grant and other school safety related programs can be found at the CES web site:  www.moces.org.

According to Tom Johns, Transportation Director at the school, stop arm violations are a daily occurrence for the bus drivers. In 29 states throughout the country, school bus drivers recorded in a one-day snapshot how many times other motorists passed their school buses illegally while the buses were stopped displaying their flashing red lights and stop arms. Over 97,000 school bus drivers reported that 75,966 vehicles passed their buses illegally on a single day. Throughout a 180-day school year, these sample results alone point to over 13 million violations by private motorists. Passing a school bus illegally causes six to eight deaths a year nationally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Injuries for the same violation are not tracked at this time, but are believed to be in the thousands. This is obviously a major safety concern for all students.

In the state of Missouri it is law, RSMO 304 304.050, that motorist stop when a school bus is stopped and loading or unloading students. Mountain Grove Schools is a very large district that loads and unloads students on some of the busiest highways in the state.  According to Johns, Mountain Grove drivers see these violations daily. Current methods to catch an offender involve the bus driver trying to document the make, model, and license plate of the vehicle. The school then reports that to the local police who investigate. If the driver is not accurate or complete in obtaining the information then the violation can go unpunished. Now the district will be able to print a color picture and provide it to the police department.