Table of Contents
1. In the past few years, Teton County has been having more success in court as the seriousness of the violation is understood more directly by the criminal justice system.
2. Having the law enforcement officer come to the school bus garage often means that the officer gets more details than ordinarily would be included in a written report. This makes the officer feel more prepared if he or she has to testify.
3. If the law enforcement officer feels there is evidence of a possible violation, the officer has two options: write a citation or offer the Ride–Along Program to the motorist. To complete the Ride–Along Program, the motorist must ride a regular school bus route five times. If the motorist does this, his or her record will be expunged.
NOTE: If the violation is particularly flagrant, a school bus
driver can stipulate on the report that the Ride–Along Program
is not an option. Likewise the Transportation Supervisor can
refuse to allow a motorist to ride on the bus if the motorist
is belligerent when he or she shows up at the school bus garage.
In general, this program – having the motorist see the situation
from the school bus driver’s perspective – seems to provide
good education to these offenders.
1. Start the database early. The information was helpful in convincing law enforcement and the public of the problem.
2. Dumb luck helps, as these three examples show.
In the mid–1980's the head mechanic’s wife was the president of the PTA. She asked what the PTA could do to help the school bus drivers. PTA volunteers rode on some of the buses to help record violations. The media found out what the PTA was doing and decided to do a story. In researching the story, they interviewed the judge, a major roadblock in the process, who had been convinced by the motorists who ended up in his courtroom that school bus drivers were trying to trap motorists. The headline for the front page story read “PTA Bus Crackdown Nets 26 Violators.” It was a turning point for Teton County.
A few years later the County Sheriff realized that, while the violationreports had to go first to one of three law enforcement agencies (City Police, County Sheriff, or State Police), eventually they all ended up in the same court. He offered to be the contact point for all reports.