It's a statewide effort to prevent drivers from passing stopped school buses. The latest Operation Safe Stop campaign gets underway today as police are closely monitoring school buses in heavy traffic areas. Our Brad Vivacqua reports.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- You can expect to see extra patrols following school buses across the state. Agencies ranging from local to state law enforcement are all participating in Operation Safe Stop today.
It is illegal to pass a school bus in either direction when the bus is stopped with its flashing red lights on.
This week is known as "Spring into Pedestrian Safety Week” and patrols are on particularly high guard on bus routes and in school zones. This week police are holding special events across the state to remind drivers to slow down and use caution. Patrols in both marked and unmarked vehicles will be looking for careless drivers. Some will even be on board buses.
"Bus drivers usually indicate to law enforcement the areas they're seeing trouble. Where they're seeing continuous problems, where people are passing the school bus on a regular basis, and then we'll set up in that same area during those time frames to make sure that that's not continuing," said Jack Keller, NYS Police Troop D PIO.
It's estimated more than 50,000 motor vehicles will pass stopped school buses in New York State every day. Fines for passing a stopped school bus range from $250 to $400 for a first time offense and up to five points on your license.
Police say they are on the lookout for this all year long, but they will particularly be on high guard for this today and this week.