March 27, 2014
Thursday, April 3, is Operation Safe Stop Day, and as such, BKW will be joining law enforcement from across New York State in an organized effort to make transportation safer for our children.
During Operation Safe Stop, which seeks to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement efforts, police officers will be on board school buses and in marked and unmarked patrol units on selected bus routes that have a history of illegal passing complaints.
“This is an important event that takes place each year in the hopes of educating the public in school bus stop safety-particularly in reducing and preventing injuries and accidents at school bus stops,” said BKW Transportation Director Amy Santandrea, who will join law enforcement at a press conference to kickoff this year’s campaign.
New York State transports 2.3 million children with more than 50,000 school buses to school every year. New York State law requires motorists to stop for school buses that are receiving or discharging passengers. Failure to do so may result in a first offense fine of $250-$400, 5 points on a motorist’s driver’s license, and up to 30 days in jail.
When a school bus is preparing to stop, the driver will activate the yellow flashing lights at approximately 300 feet before the stop. At the stop the vehicle will be put into neutral or park with the parking brake set to open the door and activate the red flashing lights with the stop arm/stop sign being extended and flashing.
The driver of the vehicle must stop when they encounter a school bus in the process of loading or unloading students: on a public highway, on multiple lane roads, on opposite sides of divided highways, on a public street, on a private road, in a parking lot and on school property. The driver of the vehicle must stop from either direction.
TIPS FOR SHARING THE ROAD WITH SCHOOL BUSES:
- Remember buses make frequent stops. Be prepared to stop for them
- Never pass a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing on the right or left
- Watch for children who cross in front of the bus when the bus is stopped
- Look for children at bus stops and those running to bus stops
- By law school buses are required to stop at railroad crossings
Operation Safe Stop is a cooperative project supported by the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association, the student transportation industry and state, county, city and local law enforcement agencies.