ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Several school districts in North Carolina are taking extra precautions this year, trying to get drivers to pay attention to stopped school buses.
WBTV met Monday morning with Tim Beck, Transportation Director of Rowan-Salisbury Schools. He said the district is using longer stop-arms on 10 buses this year.
"The extended stop arms stick out four feet longer than the traditional stop arms," Beck said. "Unfortunately, in today's society, there are a lot of distractions so we are always trying to stay ahead of the curve."
Rowan-Salisbury has 188 buses out on the road every school day. According to Beck, at least one car passes a stopped Rowan-Salisbury school bus every day.
That is exactly what the district is trying to prevent with the extended stop arms.
"If the lights are red, stop your car. It is just that simple," Beck told WBTV. "We are hoping the extended signs will get people to be more aware of their surroundings. We don't want any more fatalities or injuries."
Only four weeks into the school year, Beck says it's hard to tell what impact the extended stop-arms have had. Again, Rowan-Salisbury Schools only has the extended arms on ten buses.
This is part of a state-sponsored and state-funded pilot program. The district is hoping if things go well they can equip more buses in the future.