by Josh Navarro
ODESSA- Keeping kids safe before and after school is paramount for school officials and local police. Officials with Odessa Police say drivers have been breaking the law lately by not stopping at a bus stop sign and there's a big push right now from police to eliminate that problem.
Children getting off the bus from school and crossing the street could be dangerous for them. Signs on buses are meant to protect your children before and after school but they are being ignored by drivers.
"We've been having alot of people run through the school zones. Not only are they speeding, they are disregarding school buses with their stop signs out and the lights activated," Officer William Gaut with Odessa Police, said.
Officer Gaut says he's seeing more of the problem from drivers on the opposite side of the road failing to stop.
"If there's no physical mediums, such as grass, or a cement rail, you have to stop. If you do not stop, there's a chance you may receive a citation and worse a tragic accident could occur," Gaut said.
According to police, most of the close calls happen in the crosswalk where drivers aren't paying attention to the kids crossing the streets.
Parents NewsWest 9 spoke to say drivers need to have their full concentration on the roads because at times children don't.
"It's safety for the little kids. These are our leaders of tomorrow and we just need to pay attention and look out for them," Parent, Lanny McDorman, said.
Another parent says parents should be more alert when kids get off the bus.
"We need to be more responsible, hold their hand or be more vigilant towards our kids," Parent, Nilda Rodriguez, said.
Police say as traffic flow is increasing, the area it's also triggering this problem.
"Getting more new drivers, people from other cities who don't pay attention, to where our traffic flows. Everybody needs to pay attention," Gaut said.
In the past two weeks, Officer Gaut issued 20 citations to drivers who failed to stop.
If police catch you breaking the law not stopping at the bus stop sign, you could be slapped with a citation of $300 or more.