Marquette Police discuss school bus safety, Drug Take-Back Day

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Marquette Police Department (MPD) wants the public to be aware of two events: National School Bus Safety Week and Drug Take-Back Day.

National School Bus Safety Week is Oct. 19 through Oct. 23. With the school year back in full swing, law enforcement across the country are ramping up patrols of motorists illegally passing school buses.

“Kids are the most precious to everyone and we want to keep them safe no matter what. One of the most important things you can do is pay attention, especially this time of year as it gets darker and darker out in the mornings,” said Nate Dawson, a detective for MPD.

The rules are simple to help keep kids safe when entering and exiting a school bus:

  • 1) When a bus has the red flashing lights activated, drivers must stop at least 20-feet from the bus.
  • Drivers are not to move their vehicle until the red lights are turned off and the bus has begun to move again. This applies to all Michigan roadways including multiple-lane roadways; the only exception being a divided roadway where a barrier physically separates your vehicle from the bus. A very useful guide is included below.

Drivers who pass stopped school buses may be charged with civil infractions carrying a fine between $100 and $500. Violators may also be required to perform up to 100 hours of community service at a school. Drivers who pass a stopped school bus and cause a fatality are subject to a felony with either a fine up to $7,500 or up to 15 years in jail. Drivers who pass a stopped school bus and cause an injury could face a misdemeanor charge and either a fine up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail.

MPD is working with local bus drivers to observe and stop those who do not follow the rules above. School bus drivers will also be completing a report whenever a violation occurs and those are passed on to the MPD for follow-up for possible citations.

Drug Take-Back Day is also occurring this weekend, Saturday Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

MPD is accepting expired or unused medications. Unaccepted items include liquids, gels, syringes, or EpiPen’s. All pills must be taken out of the bottles or blister packs and placed in a clear plastic bag.

“It’s important that those drugs aren’t out floating around in people’s homes and getting out into the hands of people that shouldn’t have them or that they’re prescribed to. Any sort of drugs in your house should be up-to-date and we just don’t want them getting into the wrong hands,” said Gregory Kinonen, detective captain for MPD.

If you drop off medications at the MPD, you are asked to call (906)-228-0400 once you’ve arrived in the parking lot and someone will come outside to meet with you.

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