Independence police watching for people who illegally pass school buses

Independence police on Thursday will conduct a special enforcement effort targeting people who pass school buses illegally.

The crackdown is part of National School Bus Safety Week.

The department’s traffic safety unit will work with the Independence School District to conduct the school bus stop arm violation enforcement. Police and the school district hope to increase awareness of the danger of passing school buses illegally.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services reported in August that drivers continue to endanger children by passing school buses illegally.

An annual one-day survey by the association counted 85,279 vehicles passing buses illegally in the 29 states that participated.

In Kansas, 575 illegal passes were observed. In Missouri it was 749.

The association says students are safer in school buses than in other transport, but they are vulnerable in a danger zone around the bus.

This was the third year for the one-day survey. In 2011, there 76,685 illegal passes were reported. In 2012, there were 88,025 illegal passes documented.