Santa Ana police conduct sting to catch drivers not stopping for school buses

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police conducted a sting operation to catch drivers who did not stop for school buses after one bus driver contacted the department claiming the situation has gotten out of hand.

The law requires drivers behind the bus to stop while students load and unload from the vehicle when it's flashing yellow and red lights with a stop sign out.

But longtime Garden Grove Unified bus driver Tina Young said that does not always happen.

"It is very scary getting out on the road and seeing these drivers pass our lights. We give them enough time," she said.

Because the situation has gotten so bad, another bus driver from the district contacted the police department during a recent route through the city. Traffic officers responded and conducted the operation.

On an exclusive ride along, Eyewitness News watched as a bus pulled to the curb, flashing its red and yellow lights, as car after car blew past. Close behind, a motorcycle officer would come out and pull them over, giving them a ticket and reminding them of the law.

"You can cross the street where they're let off and a child may just dart out in front of the bus and a car could come by and collide with them," Santa Ana police Cpl. Matt Wharton said.

In one afternoon and at a handful of locations, officers stopped and ticketed 12 drivers who ignored the bus signals. Santa Ana resident Earl Wyatt lives near one of the stops that was looked over at First and Shannon streets.

"People are coming by way past the speed limit, and not only that, we've got children that are crossing the street and getting on and off the bus," he said.

Traffic opposite of a bus must stop for certain circumstances. Police said when in doubt you should stop because you could be saving a life.

Santa Ana police said the mandatory minimum fine for the offense is more than $700.
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