States across the nation are designating a day this spring to tally incidents of illegal school bus passing.
The effort is the second annual nationwide count, spearheaded by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).
Last year's inaugural survey found that more than 76,000 vehicles illegally passed school buses in a one-day snapshot. Twenty-eight states participated.
NASDPTS Executive Director Bob Riley told SBF that the association hopes to get more states involved in the count this year and to continue raising awareness about stop-arm running. Also, a few changes have been made to simplify and improve the survey.
Riley noted that the results of last year's bus-passing survey have been used in a number of ways. In Maryland, for example, the statewide count of illegal passes — more than 7,000 — helped in passing legislation that enables the state's counties to pass their own bills to allow the use of stop-arm cameras in citing violators.
"That was pretty much a direct result of the survey," Riley said.
Later in the year, the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention announced that 46 agencies across the state would receive a total of $548,411 in grants to help in reducing the number of illegal bus-passing incidents.
Also, some of NASDPTS' nationwide statistics were recently cited by U.S. Rep Bruce Braley of Iowa, who introduced federal legislation that would require his state's new stricter stop-arm running penalties to apply to all states in the country.
Riley also said that he has gotten many calls from reporters about the nationwide survey results.
NASDPTS has asked states to conduct this year's count between March 1 and May 15. For more information, go here.