School bus safety is really an everyday thing, but today's observation of Operation Safe Stop Day is an opportunity to reinforce the idea of drivers acting responsibly when approaching school buses.
According to the New York School Bus Contractors Association, as many as 40,000 drivers in New York illegally pass school buses each day school is in session. They say those statistics make it plain that more has to be done to make drivers aware of their responsibility to stop anytime a school bus flashes its red lights and puts its stop sign out.
The organization is working with the legislature to toughen existing laws for illegal passing of school buses, with a proposed bill that would increase the range of fines to between $400 and $1500, as well as requiring criminal charges for anyone injuring or killing someone while illegally passing a bus. Other proposed legislation includes an educational element, adding a school bus safety component to pre-licensing driver education courses and requiring one or more questions about school bus safety be included in any written tests taken to obtain a New York driver's license.