Operation Stop Arm means NCSHP is keeping close tabs on school buses, school zones this week

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- From Oct. 18 through Oct. 22, North Carolina State Highway Patrol is putting a magnifying glass on school bus safety.

It's all part of the group's Operation Stop Arm, a program designed to improve safety in and around school zones and school bus stops.

Those bright yellow buses are back on the roads and parents like Susan Jernigan have a message.

"Talk about the importance of paying attention when a bus is on the highway. At all costs. Because it could be the difference between life and death for some person," Jernigan said.

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"'Jeannie Sue's been ran over.' That was horrible--the most horrible words I've had to ever read on a text," the girl's mother recalled.

Jernigan's daughter, Jeannie Sue, was just 8 years old when she stepped to get off the bus and was hit by a man driving a black pickup truck. After multiple surgeries and hospital stays, she's doing much better now.

"We all still think about school bus safety each and every day, and just looking at my little girl and what a blessing she is and what a miracle she is to even be here," Jernigan said.

All week, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol will participate in Operation Stop Arm to increase awareness for school bus safety. NCSHP said thousands of people break the law every day when it comes to school buses.

"People are not seeing the school bus and they're not able to stop for the school bus because they're not looking. They're look at a phone or they're distracted by something in their car," said Chris Knox of NCSHP.

Five years later, Jernigan said she's grateful she's able to help spread this message and hopes no other family will have this experience.

"I wish it was mentioned every week, every Monday morning, every Sunday night before people went to bed to just kind of put it in the forefront of their mind," Jernigan said.
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