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Operation Safe Stop on April 26

on April 23, 2018

 

High school students exit a school bus in the school's parking lot.

Operation Safe Stop is April 26.

The Warwick Valley Central School District’s Transportation Department and Warwick Police will once again participate in Operation Safe Stop, a statewide effort to educate motorists about the dangers of passing a stopped school bus.

Throughout New York on Thursday, April 26, police officers will be on board school buses and in marked and unmarked patrol units on selected bus routes with a history of illegal passing complaints. Police will issue tickets to drivers who pass stopped school buses, and all violations will be reported to a central command post.

Debra A. Weissman, Warwick Valley’s Director of Transportation, said “running the red” continues to be a problem in virtually every school district. She added that driver impatience and modern distractions – such as cell phones, complicated car audio systems, and GPS systems – have compounded the problem.

“Running the red happens, and it happens more than you’d think,” said Ms. Weissman. “Operation Safe Stop is about raising everyone’s awareness to how serious and dangerous this is.”
Every school day in New York, as many as 50,000 motorists illegally pass school buses. The law states:

It is illegal for motorists to pass a stopped school bus when the large red lights on top of the bus are flashing. Flashing red lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students.
Motorists going in both directions must always stop for a school bus when its red lights are flashing, even on school grounds or on divided or multi-lane highways.
Motorists must always stop when a school bus’ red lights are flashing, whether approaching the bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear.
A first-time penalty for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 fine, five points on your driver’s license, and/or 30 days in jail.
Since October 2003, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has partnered with the New York Association for Pupil Transportation and local law enforcement for Operation Safe Stop. In 2017, a total of 36 counties in New York participated and 1,037 motorist were ticketed for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

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