LAKEWOOD, NY (WNY News Now) – Every day it is estimated that 50,000 drivers illegally pass a stopped school bus in New York State alone. State and local representatives are teaming up to help combat negligent drivers.
Bus drivers have one goal: to safely transport kids to and from school safely. However, you can not control other vehicles on the road. Operation Safe Stop aims to combat reckless driving.
“An important part of traffic safety is not just enforcement, it’s education,“ explained New York State Police Captain Hollands. “So I’m glad we can all take part in this Safe Stop program which combines both enforcement and education. Because at the end of the day, we don’t want to have to write anybody a ticket. We don’t want to write any of those 50,000 drivers a day that pass by a school bus a ticket. We want them to not pass the school bus.”
For those with Operation Safe Stop, even one person passing a stopped school bus is way too many.
“28, that’s the number of students we’ve lost since February 1st 1960, because of people who have passed our stopped school buses in New York,” said John Spacht, Transportation supervisor for Southwestern and Frewsburg central schools. “There’s roughly about 50,000 a day, we think that number is a little low.”
As technology advances, many districts are implementing camera systems on school buses to prosecute negligent drivers.
“We do have Southwestern and Frewsburg, we do have cameras outside that can see the cars passing,“ explained Spacht. “We get their license plates, we turn those over to law enforcement. I do know there are some districts in the state, I believe the City of Jamestown school district just put what’s called Bus Patrol cameras on.”
School bus safety is universal, from Jamestown to Albany.
“The most dangerous time for a child is getting on and off that school bus,“ exclaimed Senator George Borello. “And ensuring that their safety is the top priority.”
In New York State it doesn’t matter how many lanes there are, if a school bus has its flashing red lights activated, you must stop.