A pilot program employed by a Northern Westchester school district has found that nearly 400 drivers illegally passed stopped school buses over the span of two months.
The program, used by the Hendrick Hudson School District which serves over 2,000 students in Buchanan, Verplanck, Crugers, Montrose, Cortlandt Manor, Croton-on-Hudson, and Peekskill, came from a partnership with technology provider BusPatrol, officials from the company announced on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Through cameras installed on 49 school bus stop arms, the company captured a total of 367 illegal passings in September and October, according to BusPatrol officials.
A video released by the company shows multiple drivers passing school buses when the stop arm is in use and the lights are flashing, just before children cross the street to get on the bus.
In New York, it is illegal to pass a school bus when the red stop arm is in use, and drivers are required to stop when approaching the bus from the front or rear on any public highway, street, or private road, officials said.
"Each day school buses are passed, and our children are at risk of being hit and injured or killed by a passing motorist," said the school district's Transportation Supervisor Liz Gilleo.
Westchester County has not yet implemented a school bus safety program, compared to the neighboring counties of Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, and Suffolk County, as well as several municipalities in Nassau County, which have such a program, BusPatrol officials said.
Stopped school buses are estimated to be illegally passed around 50,000 times a day, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
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