From the Fulton Police Department
Police will be keeping an eye on traffic around school buses in Operation Safe Stop. April 15, 2010 has been designated Operation Safe Stop throughout New York State. What is Operation Safe Stop? Operation Safe Stop seeks to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement efforts. Operation Safe Stop is a cooperative project supported by the New York State Governorâ€™s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association, the student transportation industry, and state, county, city and local law enforcement agencies.
Did you know an estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass New York State school buses every day? Between 2002 and 2004, there were 69 students injured and one killed by motorists in New York State passing stopped school buses.
The law says it is illegal – and very dangerous – to pass a stopped school bus when the red lights located on top of the bus are flashing. You must stop whether you are approaching the school bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear. You must always stop for flashing red lights, even on divided highways and on school grounds. The first time an operator is convicted for illegally passing a school bus the fine can range from $250.00 to $400.00 and 5 points on your license and/or possibly 30 days in jail. Worse yet, the memory of hitting or killing a child may be one you carry for the rest of your life!
It is important to remember: Yellow lights mean the bus is going to stop. Slow down! Red lights mean students are getting on or off the bus. STOP! STOP! STOP! The goal of Operation Safe Stop is to proactively educate motorists about the dangers of passing stopped school buses.