The New York Student Transportation Association calls on drivers to pull over for school buses during Operation Safe Stop Day on April 28
LATHAM, NY – The New York Association for Student Transportation (NYAPT), a statewide organization dedicated to supporting, developing, and representing the professionals responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of our schoolchildren , supports Operation Safe Stop Day – an annual public awareness event to promote school bus safety and educate the public about the dangers of illegally passing a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing.
“Stop at red, our kids are ahead – that’s the motto of Operation Safe Stop,” said NYAPT Executive Director David Christopher. “While the primary purpose is to remind drivers to pull over for stopped school buses so that we can keep our school children safe, it is important to note that law enforcement across the state will be effective after yellow school buses and will issue tickets to those drivers who violate the law. »
This year’s Operation Safe Stop takes place on Thursday, April 28, and is a NYAPT-supported cooperative project with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New State Department of Education York, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association, New York State Bus Distributors Association, the student transportation industry, and state, county, city, and local law enforcement agencies.
According to NYAPT’s own statewide investigations, approximately 50,000 drivers in New York City illegally pass stopped school buses each day school is in session, endangering students and putting their lives at risk. During Operation Safe Stop Day, law enforcement across New York State will be tracking school buses and issuing tickets to drivers who pass them illegally.
“Keeping children safe as they ride the school bus to and from school every day is our top priority and we urge drivers to do their part to keep our students safe,” said the NYAPT President and Coxsackie-Athens School District Transportation Director Ted Nugent. . “We ask the public to avoid distracted driving, to be aware of school buses traveling on our roads, and to always stop when they see these red lights flashing on a school bus. The lives of students depend on all law-abiding drivers.
New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires all vehicles to come to a complete stop when approaching a stopped school bus with flashing red lights. These lights indicate that a child is getting on or off a school bus. New York State law prohibits passing a stopped school bus with flashing red lights, regardless of your direction of travel, or even if there is a multi-lane or divided highway.
NYAPT Executive Director David Christopher added, “Young children have many worries about school, and getting to school safely shouldn’t be one of them. Please slow down and watch for school buses that stop or are about to stop. Don’t be one of the 50,000 drivers in New York who threaten a child’s life every day by illegally overtaking a stopped school bus.
Penalties for a first offense of illegally passing a school bus include a $250 to $400 fine, five points on your license, and the possibility of 30 days in jail. A second conviction within three years will result in a fine of $600 to $750 and up to 180 days in jail; while three or more convictions will result in a $750 to $1,000 fine, mandatory revocation of your driver’s license and up to 180 days in jail.
Additionally, for school districts and municipalities that choose to use self-ticketing stop arm cameras on school buses, state law allows fines to be imposed on the owner of any vehicle that illegally exceeds a stopped school bus starts at $250 for a first offense and up to $300 for subsequent offenses.
NYAPT also noted that the 2.3 million children who ride school buses in New York State are driven by qualified and well-trained school bus drivers on carefully planned routes for safety, as the buses are maintained to the highest safety standards and that school transportation officials do their best to ensure the safety of students while on or near a school bus.
NYAPT chapters across the state will hold public awareness events for Operation Safe Stop Day on April 28.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are 70 times safer on a school bus than in a private car. To see www.nhtsa.gov