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Operation Safe Stop Day

October 5, 2005

Westchester drivers who ignore the red flashing lights of school buses should beware – police are stepping up their enforcement efforts.

To drive home the message to motorists on the dangers of passing stopped school buses, County Executive Andy Spano has designated Thursday, October 6 as Operation Safe Stop Day, a special school bus enforcement day throughout Westchester County.

“Despite the fact that New York State requires vehicles to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading students, substantial numbers of motorists ignore the flashing red lights and extended stop arms,” Spano said.

“Operation Safe Stop Day combines stepped up enforcement with public education to address this problem. This is a collaborative effort involving county police and other law enforcement agencies, school districts, parent groups, traffic safety organizations and the media. We must do all we can to make sure children get to and from school safely.”

In the last 5 years, 35 students in New York State were injured or killed by vehicles passing stopped school buses with flashing red lights. Approximately 50,000 motorists illegally pass stopped school buses every school day in New York. A first time penalty for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 fine, five points on a driver license, and/or 30 days in jail. The law applies to vehicles approaching a bus with flashing red lights from the front or overtaking it from the rear, even on school grounds and divided or multi-lane highways.

For further information, contact Westchester County Department of Public Works, Traffic Safety section, at 995-2271.


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