On March 30, 2011, law enforcement officers around the state will participate in an Operation Safe Stop day. During “Safe Stop,” police officers are in marked patrol units on selected bus routes that have a history of busses being illegally passed. 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 Governor’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.
It is illegal and very dangerous to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. Flashing red lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students. 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 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 your license, and/or possibly 30 days in jail. Worse yet, the memory of hitting or killing a child will 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! The goal of Operation Safe Stop is to proactively educate motorists about the dangers of passing stopped school buses. The Fulton Police Department is proud to participate in this and other traffic safety initiative year after year.