As Capital Region kids head back to the classroom, school bus safety is on the minds of many parents.
Police say it’s really the other drivers we should be worried about.
Most drivers know not to pass a stopped school bus but every day tens of thousands of motorists still do.
The flashing lights and stop sign doesn’t seem to matter to drivers in these videos, who are clearly seen passing stopped school buses.
The clips were taken from cameras mounted on school buses. The New York Association of Pupil Transportation (APT) says surveys found motorists pass school buses an astounding 50,000 times a day in New York State.
The organization held a joint press conference in Clifton Park, talking about their coordinated efforts with the New York State PTA and law enforcement.
“We beg of you, if you are watching this we beg of you. Please don’t pass that bus,” Kyle Belokopitsky said.
“We will never completely stop illegal passing. As adults, with a mission to protect our children, we knew we had to make it better,” Peter Manella said.
Their focus is to increase state and local police patrols and enforcement.
They’ve also posted messaging on billboards along highways and on neighborhood streets they are also getting the word out through a social media campaign.
A bill to equip all New York State school buses with cameras failed to pass at the Capitol. Saratoga County Sheriff Mike Zurlo says if caught passing a stopped school bus, motorists will face fines.
“I think it’s like a $500 fine your first time, so be prepared if you’re going to go through,” Zurlo said. “I can tell you that when the courts see you going around a stopped school bus, they take that pretty seriously.”
Sheriff Zurlo and Buster The Bus both have this to say to drivers, don’t say you weren’t warned!