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Police To Crack Down On Drivers Who Pass Stopped School Buses

Law enforcement agencies are cracking down on motorists passing buses.
Law enforcement agencies are cracking down on motorists passing buses. Photo Credit: File

State and local police will be cracking down on motorists that pass stopped school bus during “Operation Safe Stop.”

The special enforcement detail - the 15th annual - will be focused on deterring motorists from passing the buses and is designed to educate the public about the dangers of passing buses when they are dismissing students and their lights are flashing.

“Passing a stopped school bus is one of the most dangerous actions a driver can take, and these incidents are easily preventable,” Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State DMV and Acting GTSC Chair stated. “State Police and local law enforcement issue tickets every day to keep our children safe from reckless drivers who pass stopped buses. ‘Operation Safe Stop’ is meant to educate and remind the public to stop so that children can get safely to and from school.”

During last year’s crackdown, 70 police agencies participated in the campaign. Their efforts led to the doling out of 1,037 tickets for passing stopped school buses, up 178 from the 2016 campaign, and 2,964 tickets for other moving violations, an increase of 1,417 from the previous year.

"Our children trust us to obey the law and stop for school buses that have their red lights flashing,” Peter Mannella the Executive Director of the New York Association For Pupils said.

When we have tens of thousands of New Yorkers disregarding those red lights daily, we are endangering our children who ride those school buses.

“We implore all New Yorkers to remember those children as they approach a school bus with its red lights flashing. Those lights signal that children are boarding or departing their school bus. Their lives depend on all of us as adults obeying the law and caring about their safety."

According to a survey conducted by the NYAPT, the association estimates that 30,252 drivers statewide illegally passed a school bus that day. Those numbers include 280 drivers who passed on the passenger side of the bus where students board and exit.

"Keeping our children safe on their way to and from school is among our highest priorities,” New York State Police Superintendent George Beach II stated. “Everyone must do their part to ensure the safety of our young people. There is no excuse for passing a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing and children are getting on and off. Doing so can result in a senseless tragedy. 

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