On Monday, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) released the results of a survey taken on Nov. 18 to measure the incidences of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses.
In the 28 school districts that participated, 1,020 school bus drivers reported that they were passed a total of 627 times, including 50 passes on the passenger side of the school bus.
At that rate of passing, when applied to over 50,000 school buses in New York state, the total estimated illegal passing rate is 30,735 for that day. This total marks a significant increase over the October 2015 survey estimate of 19,129.
The association launched a monthly “Safe Stop Survey” campaign among its members in October.
The sample of districts participating in the Nov. 18 survey includes predominantly rural and smaller suburban areas with lighter traffic flow and a lower incidence of illegal passing.
“This continuing disregard for the safety of our children is alarming and we urge parents and law enforcement officials to join us in urging all motorists to stop for the school bus,” said David Adam, president of NYAPT.
NYAPT is backing legislation that will allow cameras to be mounted near the stop arms of school buses and the evidence from those cameras to be used to prosecute motorists who pass stopped school buses illegally.
“We urge the state legislature and the governor to support our efforts to allow stop arm cameras to identify motorists who pass our stopped school buses and to allow tickets to be issued as a result of the images taken by those cameras,” said Peter Mannella, NYAPT’s executive director. “It’s all for the safety of our children.”