Over a fifth of the nation’s school bus drivers reported nearly 78,000 incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses during one-day counts earlier this year, equating to 14 million violations over a 180-day school year.
The state Department of Public Safety said motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses with their stop arms out and red lights flashing face $500 fines starting Aug. 1.
A new law authorizes county school boards independently or under contract with a vendor to install stop-arm cameras on school buses to capture incidents of illegal passing and use the evidence to issue citations.
The Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation (OAPT) recently launched an education program featuring a specialty license plate that reminds motorists to stop for a loading or unloading school bus’ flashing red lights and stop arm.
Florida’s School Bus Safety bill, which was passed by the House and Senate earlier this year, was signed by Gov. Rick Scott. It goes into effect July 1.
Operation Safe Stop was celebrated throughout the state of New York with associations like the New York Association for Pupil Transportation and the New York School Bus Contractors Association participating in events raising awareness of illegal school bus passing.
A DATTCO school bus driver for the East Hampton school district in Connecticut was honored for his heroic rescue of one of his students who was almost struck by a speeding vehicle as she exited her school bus.