5/10/2019 - School Bus Safety

If you were to ask anyone they would tell that they always stop when a school bus has their stop-arm extended. But in fact illegally passing school buses when their red stop-arms are extended is a serious problem. According to data collected by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, 50,000 cars illegally pass buses every day in New York state. If witnessed by a police officer passing a stopped school bus is punishable by a ticket of $250 to $400, five points on your license and up to 30 days in jail.

The East Meadow school district has partnered with Bus Patrol America to obtain live footage of vehicles passing buses from 12 of its 60 buses for a 30 day period. No tickets will be issued but the district wants to be proactive in implementing additional safety measures to protect students.

While this is a data gathering initiative be aware that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in January that he supported the creation of a law that would allow districts to permanently install the cameras as a means of issuing fines. Cuomo said in a statement that he would propose the measure, in addition to an increase in fines, in his 2020 budget.

The law, named the School Bus Camera Safety Act, passed in the State Assembly in March and is now being considered by the State Senate’s Transportation Committee.

So remember that children are our most precious resource so PLEASE STOP when you see a school bus with an extended stop-arm.