School bus safety in spotlight this week

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, the 19th annual Operation Safe Stop will be conducted in communities across the state as part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs from Monday, Oct. 19, to Friday, Oct. 23.

Operation Safe Stop is a public awareness and enforcement effort to educate the motoring public that passing a stopped school bus, when children are loading or unloading, is both dangerous and illegal. Each year, through Operation Safe Stop, law enforcement agencies, school transportation providers, pupil transportation associations and PennDOT have combined their efforts to raise public awareness about the potentially tragic consequences of failing to heed the law.

During this operation, members of the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department will work with the West Chester Area School District and Krapf Bus Company on different bus routes where violations of this law have occurred. Motorists found to be in violation will be stopped and issued a citation. The penalty for the violation is a $250 fine and a 60-day license suspension, followed by five points when the license is restored, said a press release from the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department.

Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus, or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.

Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping, the release said.





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