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A successful “Busted by the Bus” operation took place this afternoon. 17 squad cars from seven agencies around Dakota County focused their efforts to combat distracted driving around school buses in the area of Yankee Doodle Road and Pilot Knob Road.

During the operation, the officers:

  • Made 131 traffic stops
  • Issued 60 citations
  • Arrested 1 for driving under the influence

Five officers on the bus spotted a variety of distracted driving behaviors, ranging from taking a selfie to checking social media to texting.

Community support for “Busted by the Bus” has been overwhelmingly positive. “I think this is great,” said resident Sharon B. on Facebook. “They [distracted drivers] put everyone at risk while being on their phones while driving. I for one am glad they [Eagan Police] are doing this.”

Today’s event was grant funded through Dakota County and focused on distracted driving behavior near school buses.

School bus stop arm violations will continue to be a priority of Eagan traffic enforcement. More “Busted by the Bus” operations are expected to occur later in the year.

Background information on "Busted by the Bus"

This week, officers from around Dakota County will be getting on a school bus to look for distracted drivers.  Local school bus drivers say vehicles passing them while their STOP arm is out and red lights are flashing is a daily occurrence. Many of these violators seem to be distracted behind the wheel. To bring attention to this problem, Eagan officers, along with officers from around Dakota County, will be taking part in operation “Busted by the Bus”. Officers will be on a moving school bus looking out of the windows for violators driving distracted within close proximity to the school bus. Children will not be present during the operation and the bus will not be making any fake bus stops to generate stop arm violations. If a violation is observed the officers inside the bus will relay information to patrol cars positioned in the area to stop the violator.

“We are all aware that drivers are on their best behavior when they see a squad car. This is the same reaction we hope drivers will have when they see a yellow school bus,” says Eagan Police Officer Aaron Machtemes. Drivers need to put down their distractions and pay close attention when around school buses.busted by the bus close call.PNG

Independent School District 196 makes approximately 8,800 stops a day and sees approximately 8 to 18 violations in a typical day.  These violations pose a hazard to both kids and drivers.  Busted by the Bus is aimed to curb these dangerous driving behaviors.    

Some key points to this initiative are:

  • No children will be on the bus
  • No fake stops will be made to attempt to catch stop arm violators
  • Some patrol cars may follow district school buses in the area at a distance to observe stop arm violations

Stay tuned for more information on this initiative and don't get "Busted by the Bus".  

A special thanks to Schmitty and Sons Bus Company for volunteering a bus and driver for this operation.

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