School bus drivers across the Empire State have observed a drastic increase in the number of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses.
In a November 2015 survey conducted by the New York Association of Pupil Transportation (NYAPT), bus drivers throughout the state saw illegal passing increase from the results in October and November, when similar reviews were done.
According to NYAPT, 29 New York school districts and 912 bus drivers participated in the investigation that took place over the course of the day on Dec. 16.
The drivers reported 592 instances of illegal passing by motorists, including 51 that occurred on the passenger side of the school bus.
When applied to the more than 50,000 school buses operated across the Empire State, the estimated illegal passing rate is 32,456 on a daily basis. This number is a surge from the reported instances of illegal passing from the October and November surveys, which registered 19,129 and 30,735 respectively.
“We continue to see motorists pass our school buses at alarming rates," said David Adam, NYAPT president. "The motoring public really has to get serious about stopping for stopped school buses for the safety of our children.”
The NYAPT has pressed New York lawmakers to pass legislation to crack down on this unlawful and hazardous behavior and to support the installation of stop arm cameras.
“We urge the state legislature and the governor to support our efforts to allow stop arm cameras to identify motorists who pass our stopped school buses, and to allow tickets to be issued as a result of the images taken by those cameras,” said Peter Mannella, executive director of the NYAPT.