The New York Association for Pupil Transportation released data on Sunday that illustrates the growing problem of motorists who illegally pass school buses statewide.
NYAPT Executive Director Peter Mannella explained that the actual 627 illegal passes reported on Nov. 18 by 1,020 participating school bus driver representing 28 school districts, including those in rural and small suburban areas with lighter traffic flow and lower rates of illegal passing, grows to an estimated 30,735 statewide when applied to the more than 50,000 school buses in service across New York.
The 627 illegal passing incidents also include nine on the passenger side of the bus, where students load and unload.
The most recent data is a “significant increase,” NYAPT added, as it represents more than double the 19,129 estimated incidents reported in NYAPT’s first SafeStop sample survey that coincided with October’s National School Bus Safety Month.
“This continuing disregard for the safety of our children is alarming and we urge parents and law enforcement officials to join us in urging all motorists to STOP for the school bus,” added NYAPT President David Adam, director of transportation at Marcus Whitman CSD in Rushville.
Meanwhile, Mannella said NYAPT is using the new data to remind state legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support a bill that would allow school districts to install stop arm cameras and to use footage of illegal passings as evidence in court.