Motorists who are tempted to drive around stopped school buses better think twice.
Starting this week, Franklin County deputies will be riding school buses in an effort to target violators who drive aggressively and ignore school bus laws.
The sheriff's office receives many reports of vehicles passing school buses when they are required to stop to allow students to get on and off a bus.
This is due to aggressive/hazardous driving, inattention or ignorance of the law, the sheriff's office said in a prepared statement.
This is a very dangerous practice and puts the lives of children at risk.
The sheriff's office listed the following reminders to motorists who encounter a school bus:
• When you see a school bus, assume children are around and take extra care -- leave lots of space between your vehicle and the bus.
• If the yellow flashing lights are activated, it means that the bus driver is about to stop either at a railroad crossing or to drop off or pick up children. Slow down and prepare to stop.
• When the red flashing lights on a bus are activated, it means that motorists must stop in both directions. Never pass a bus with flashing red lights. Leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the bus and if in doubt STOP.
"We want motorist to know that we are concerned about the safety of our children," said Sgt. Steve Pelton of the sheriff's office.