An estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass New York State school buses every school day. WE Transport joins a statewide effort to reduce that number and promote student safety during Operation Safe Stop on April 28th.

As part of this program, law enforcement officers from across New York State will be targeting and ticketing drivers who pass stopped school buses. WE Transport provided data on bus routes that have a high number of illegal passing complaints, allowing police officers to focus their efforts.

“School busses are the safest way to get to and from school. However, students face an increasing danger when entering and exiting the bus,” said Marge Stolz, WE Transport Safety Manager. “There is no excuse for passing a stopped school bus. When motorists disobey the law, they put students at risk. Working together on Operation Safe Stop, we hope to prevent injuries and save lives.”

In New York State, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. The lights mean the bus is picking up or dropping off students. Motorists traveling in either direction are required to stop for flashing red lights, even on divided and multi-lane highways and on school grounds.

Motorists who illegally pass a school bus can be fined up to $400 for a first-time offense.

Operation Safe Stop is supported by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, the student transportation industry, and local law enforcement agencies.