Tomorrow, April 18, law-enforcement officers around the state will participate in an Operation Safe Stop day.
Police officers will be in marked patrol units enforcing the New York State Traffic Law, which requires all vehicles to stop for stopped school busses with their red lights flashing.
Communication between the Fulton Police Department and the transportation department of the Fulton City School District has identified the times and locations where vehicles passing school busses have been found to be the most frequent and these areas will be the focus of the enforcement efforts.
Operation Safe Stop seeks to promote school bus safety not only through enforcement efforts but also through educational efforts.
Motorists need to understand that it illegal and dangerous to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. Flashing red lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students.
Drivers must stop whether they are approaching the school bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear.
Drivers must always stop for flashing red lights. This applies even on divided and multilane highways and on school grounds. In the City of Fulton, these are the areas where it has been found that motorists are the most confused about.
The first time fine for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 to $400 fine, 5 points on your license, and/or possibly 30 days in jail.
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.