School Bus Stop Blitz Planned For Today

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with state and local police agencies, will follow and observe school buses today as part of an annual effort to educate the public on the dangers involved with passing them.

Dubbed “Operation Safe Stop,” the enforcement and awareness day intends to caution drivers who have a tendency of passing school buses while they’re stopped.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, children continue to be injured and killed each year as a result of drivers failing to exercise caution and stopping as school buses are loading or unloading passengers.

The New York State Vehicle and Traffic law prohibits drivers from passing a school bus from either direction when the bus is stopped and has its red lights flashing. The law pertains to buses stopped on public highways, streets, private roads, school parking lots and driveways.

Drivers convicted for the first time face fines of $250 to $400 or up to 30 days in jail, or both. Subsequent convictions within a three-year period can result in fines of up to $850 or 180 days in jail, or both.