Estimates based on a survey conducted by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) on Oct. 21 show more than 19,000 illegal passing incidents on a daily basis.
In the 32 school districts that participated, 1,286 school bus drivers reported that they were passed a total of 492 times, including nine passes on the right side of the school bus.
At that rate of passing, when applied to over 50,000 school buses statewide, the total estimated illegal passing rate is 19,129 for that day.
The sample of districts participating includes predominantly rural and smaller suburban areas with lighter traffic flow and a lower incidence of illegal passing.
“Regardless of whether it’s 19,000 or 32,000 or 50,000, our children are being endangered at frightening rates and we need to educate the public on how dangerous that is to those children,” said David Adam, president of NYAPT.
NYAPT is seeking 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.