Charles in charge

Charles Finkenbinder, Conway City Attorney has an important message for all 501 travelers: 

THE SAFETY OF OUR KIDS STARTS WITH YOU!

Each weekday morning and afternoon, you’ll find him volunteering as a school crossing guard and at bus stops. “Instead of seeing an approaching bus or kids at a crosswalk as a delay, see it as an opportunity to show these children that their safety is important to us, that they are valuable, that they matter.”  The attorney says stopping for a school bus or for kids at a crosswalk is a chance to do an important public service.

“When it comes to school bus safety – know the law,” Finkenbinder said. When a school bus has stopped with its flashing red lights on, all vehicles must come to a complete stop in every direction until the flashing lights are turned off.  Violators face a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a fine of $1,000, community work service, and a driver’s license suspension.

In Central Arkansas, many school busses are equipped with video cameras.  The cameras face front and back, meaning there is no way to get away with illegally passing a school bus.  The video of every car illegally passing a bus is sent to the authorities for charges to be filed.  In Arkansas, the owner of the vehicle is presumed to be the driver, and in many cases, the video camera records the face of the violator, which can then be shown to the judge at trial.

Finkenbinder also reminds drivers that crosswalk safety is equally important. Vehicles must yield and stop for pedestrians crossing a road at a crosswalk.  Most schools have crosswalks that are also equipped with lighted signs that flash yellow.  “When driving through school zones, slow down and watch for children. Be a hero and help keep them safe,” he said.

To learn more about school safety laws and what your community can do, contact Charles Finkenbinder, Conway City Attorney, at 501.450.6193 or email at [email protected]