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Published May 07, 2012, 10:24 PM

ND Troopers Take Proactive Approach to School Bus Safety

HATTON, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A new program has North Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers taking the bus route after school. The "Trooper on a Bus" program was in Hatton on Monday raising awareness of traffic violations that occur around school buses.

HATTON, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A new program has North Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers taking the bus route after school. The "Trooper on a Bus" program was in Hatton on Monday raising awareness of traffic violations that occur around school buses.

The new initiative aims to increase safety for kids on school buses across the state. Troopers try to raise awareness about the dangers created by motorists who fail to stop for buses when children are getting on and off.

In North Dakota failing to yield for the bus stop arm or its flashing red lights means a $50 fine and six points on your driving record.

"On the highways where your speeds are greater there could be more potential for injuries, things like that when the children are getting on and off the bus," Sgt. Dave Wolf with the North Dakota Highway Patrol said.

The program puts one trooper on the bus, and one following nearby in a squad car. The two watch for violations.

Bus drivers like Dave Vold say the program helps raise awareness while keeping children's safety a top priority. And that's been his job behind the wheel for more than 18 years.

"If I have to drop them off on the right hand side and they have to go on the other side, I usually like to wave them across because I can look through my mirrors and see if any traffic is coming. If they're coming real fast I'll hold them up," Hatton Bus Driver Dave Vold.

No violations have been handed out yet, but the program just started in December and troopers are expecting to be back on the buses next fall.

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