ALBANY, N.Y. — For the third month in a row, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NYAPT’s) survey of school bus passing has estimated that more than 40,000 violations occurred statewide in one day.
In the 35 school districts that participated in the survey on Jan. 19, 878 school bus drivers reported they were passed a total of 727 times, including 88 passes on the right side of the school bus. (In the Dec. 15 survey, the number of right-side passes reported by drivers was 101, and in the Nov. 20 survey, the number was 32).
At that rate of passing when applied to over 50,000 school buses in New York state, the total estimated illegal passing rate is 41,401 passes for that day. That same calculation would mean that, of that number, 5,011 motorists passed school buses on the right side of the bus that day.
In the December 2016 count day, NYAPT estimated that 44,314 motorists passed stopped school buses statewide, including 6,601 right side passes. There were an estimated 40,654 passes on the November 2016 count day. This makes three consecutive months that the survey has topped the 40,000 mark.
“Our school bus safety family is deeply concerned about this persistent child safety problem,” said Lori Ann Savino, NYAPT president and transportation supervisor for Jericho Public Schools. “We do all we can to protect our children from harm and to get them to school and home every day safely. We only ask that motorists pay attention and follow the law that requires them to stop for those red lights.”
“These numbers are of serious concern,” said Peter Mannella, NYAPT’s executive director. “We implore parents and our partners in schools and in law enforcement to help us to increase awareness of the rules of the road. We call on the governor, the state agencies and the state legislature to recognize this issue as a critical problem we must address together. It’s an easy message: Stop for the school bus. It’s all for the safety of our children.”