New York State Police troopers were out in force in the area as part of a statewide initiative to “increase school bus safety awareness through education and enforcement.”
Troopers in Dutchess and Putnam counties dished out 13 tickets while following school buses in Wappinger, Washington and Southeast on Thursday, April 2. Seven of those tickets were issued to drivers illegally passing buses.
According to police, an estimated 50,000 vehicles illegally pass school buses in New York each day.
“The State Police will continue such operations in furtherance of our mission to ensure highway safety for all users of the roadway.”
Police noted that:
- It is illegal - and very dangerous - to pass a stopped school bus when the large red lights located on top of the bus are flashing. Flashing lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students;
- Drivers must stop whether you are approaching the school bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear;
- Drivers must always stop for flashing red lights, even on divided and multilane highways and on school grounds;
- The first-time fine for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 to $400 fine, 5 points on a license, and a possible 30 days in jail, and;
- "Worse yet, the memory of hitting or killing a child may be one you carry for the rest of your life."
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