Summary: Local and state law enforcement will focus on school bus safety
PublishDate: 10/17/2017 3:00 PM
For immediate release
October 17, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will partner tomorrow, October 18, with PennDOT, school districts, student transportation agencies, and local law enforcement agencies for “Operation Safe Stop.” The goal of the one-day enforcement and education initiative is to raise awareness of the consequences of improperly passing school buses. The event is part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs October 16-20, 2017.
Pennsylvania law requires drivers to stop at least ten feet away from school buses that have red lights flashing and the stop arm extended. Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus, or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails, or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
As part of “Operation Safe Stop,” troopers will increase patrols in identified areas with high frequencies of violations. Troopers will also ride in school buses to watch for violators and talk with children about school bus safety.
“Each year, the Pennsylvania State Police inspect more than 26,000 buses to ensure students are transported safely to and from school and extracurricular activities,” said Lieutenant Robert J. Krol, Director of PSP’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division. “It is important for other drivers to remember the critical role they play in keeping children safe while on or around a school bus.”
According to PennDOT, 730 motorists were convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law in 2016. The same year, there were 343 school bus crashes with no school bus passenger or bus driver fatalities. School bus drivers in Pennsylvania traveled more than 400 million miles during school year 2015-16, transporting more than 1.5 million students daily.
Penalties for violating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law include a $250 fine, five points on the violator’s driving record, and a mandatory 60-day license suspension for a first offense.
For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Corporal Adam Reed, 717-783-5556
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Agencies: PA State Police