COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the number of drivers not stopping for school buses is still a major problem. “It’s staggering to me and it’s a lot worse,” McCoy said. “We’ve been fortunate that no one has been hurt.”
Now, they’re launching a new education campaign to promote the school bus safety program with new information materials and new signs around the county. “Education is the most important thing,” McCoy said. “Educating people on why they shouldn’t pass a school bus, they should know this, what is a violation and what’s not a violation.”
Several districts in the area have joined the program and installed stop arm cameras since the start of the school year with South Colonie being the first to install cameras last November. The new system already issuing over 900 tickets every month to drivers who broke the law in the South Colonie Central School District. The high number of tickets county-wide resulting in $700,000 of ticket revenue over the last four months.
“There’s over 700 buses being passed on a monthly basis in Colonie and when you add in the other schools, it’s mind boggling,” David Perry, Superintendent of South Colonie Central School District, said. “So we ask that when those red lights are out and buses are stopped that all four lanes of traffic are stopped, that we do our part to keep our children safe each and every day and this is just a step in the right direction.”
With Operation Safe Stop happening on April 27, law enforcement and elected officials are putting more attention on laws surrounding school bus safety with an increased police presence on popular bus routes.
“Every year our operation safe stop shows high numbers of people passing school with flashing lights just like we’ve found in the district using stop arm cameras,” McCoy said. “This continues to be a real, real problem.”