Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an enforcement and public education campaign aimed at motorists who pass stopped school buses. State and local law enforcement agencies from across the state will participate in “Operation Safe Stop” on Thursday, April 27, 2017, and drivers passing school buses that are stopped and flashing their red lights will be ticketed. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the New York Association for Pupil Transportation have collaborated on the enforcement and education initiative since October 2003.
“Operation Safe Stop has played a critical role in raising awareness and urging motorists to pay attention to the road and abide by the law,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this campaign, we can help protect the safety of our children and remind motorists that they must remain vigilant while driving around school buses.”
Last year, 95 police agencies participated in the enforcement campaign, many of them for the first time. Their combined efforts produced 859 tickets for passing stopped school buses and 1,547 tickets for other moving violations. Police issue tickets for passing school buses every day of the school year, but this annual enforcement effort is meant to place a spotlight on the need for drivers to stop on red when kids are ahead. This year’s campaign includes a new billboard sponsored by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, reiterating the message: “Stop on Red. Kids Ahead.” See an image of the billboard here.
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation conducts a survey once a month of bus drivers asking how often they are passed while stopped on one specific day. Based on their responses for the March survey, the association estimates that 54,962 drivers statewide passed a school bus that day. Those numbers include 687 drivers who drove by on the passenger side of the bus where students board and exit.