NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Operation Safe Stop kicks off Thursday to promote school bus safety.
Law enforcement statewide will use both marked and unmarked patrol cars to follow school buses in heavy traffic areas and they’ll be on the lookout for drivers who pass stopped school buses in violation with state law, as well as people who speed in school zones.
Drivers must stop for buses with the red flashing stop sign out, even on divided highways.
The Pupil Transportation Safety Institute encourages everyone to watch this safety video. They were also in attendance at Thursday’s event.
On Wednesday, the State Senate passed legislation that increases penalties for those who pass school buses with their stop signs out.
The legislation includes:
- School Bus Safety Violation Increase: This bill, S3558A, introduced by Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Transportation Committee, increases the penalties for illegally overtaking and passing a stopped school bus.
- School Bus Safety Drivers Education: This bill, S2960, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, adds a school bus safety component to the pre-licensing driver’s education course.
- School Bus Education Fund: This bill, S4385, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, provides for the transfer of a portion of fines issued for illegally passing a school bus to the comprehensive school bus driver safety-training program for the study and promotion of issues involving school bus safety and establishes a school bus motorist education fund.