VAIL, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A new law is going into effect across Arizona that will hopefully keep children safe on their way to and from school each day.
Buses drop off small elementary children on less traveled rural or private roads, with their lights flashing and the stop sign arm extended – vehicles did not have to stop, there was no law in place to address this. Many drivers would simply go around the stopped bus, but with this new law that will no longer happen.
A law banning that practice officially went into effect on September 13. The new law is being called 'Elizabeth's Law'.
HB#2170, otherwise known as 'Elizabeth's Law' is named after a Safford girl who was hit and killed by a car after she got off of her school bus on a private road five years ago.
Tucson News Now spoke with officials in the Vail School District who stated they have posted the law in the Transportation Department and workers are taking classes on it.
Vehicles passing buses with stop signs extended and children leaving the bus, is an issue they deal with in more rural Vail every day. Vail District officials state that in the last eighteen months there has been more than a dozen incidents; fortunately all have been near misses with no injuries.
The district stated Elizabeth's Law is a great law, but admits it might be hard to enforce.
Law enforcement says no matter where the driver is, whether on a public or private/rural road – stop for loading and unloading school buses.