Operation Stop Arm underway across Charlotte area

Operation Stop Arm underway across Charlotte area

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 5:23 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 5:40 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NBC Charlotte is looking out for you with a warning from the State Highway Patrol. 

Operation Stop Arm kicks off at 6 a.m. Monday and runs through Friday.  Troopers will be on the roads enforcing rules around school buses and school zones. 

The aim of the annual campaign is to protect students and reduce school bus collisions across the states. Troopers will be driving both marked and unmarked patrol cars. 

The Highway Patrol says cameras have been installed on the outside of some school buses to catch drivers violating stop arms rules. This year's campaigns comes on the heels of that horrific accident in Rowan County last week. 

Seventeen-year-old Makinzy Smith was trying to board his bus Thursday, when he was hit and killed by a driver who blew through a stop arm and flashing lights. 

The teen was a West Rowan High School student. 

That driver, 57-year-old Barbara Harrison Smith, is charged with felony passing a stopped school bus. 

According to the Highway Patrol, during a one day count last year, North Carolina bus drivers witnessed more than 3,000 cars illegally pass stopped school buses.

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