ALBANY, N.Y. — As the school year begins, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) is reminding motorists to obey the law and stop for stopped school buses.
The association is advising the public that 2.3 million children will be riding school buses statewide, and that they will travel to and from school each day on routes that are carefully planned not only for efficiency, but also for student safety.
“We are blessed with dedicated professionals in school transportation — including managers, dispatchers, mechanics, trainers, drivers, and attendants — who are dedicated to the single mission of student safety in all we do,” said Lori Ann Savino, NYAPT president and transportation supervisor for Jericho Public Schools. “Students will arrive at school on buses operated by school districts, BOCES [Boards of Cooperative Educational Services], private contractors, private schools, and others, ready to learn. We are all united in one mission: student safety. We have a safety record that is second to none in New York state and we are deeply committed to continuing that safety for all 2.3 million children entrusted to our care.”
NYAPT is also reminding motorists that the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law requires all vehicles to come to a full stop when approaching a school bus that has its red lights flashing. The law requires motorists to stop from all directions, including on divided highways and multi-lane roads. Individuals who violate this law are subject to fines ranging from $250 to $400 and five points on their license for a first conviction, with fines increasing for subsequent violations, according to the association.
NYAPT estimates that some 50,000 motorists pass stopped school buses every day in New York.
“Fifty thousand illegal passes per day is simply unacceptable and presents a serious danger to our children,” said Peter Mannella, executive director for NYAPT. “They trust us to stop and to keep them safe. They deserve our full attention to ensure their safety.”