Operation Safe Stop Promotes School Bus Safety In Lower Bucks Co. | #schoolsaftey

LOWER BUCKS COUNTY, PA —It’s a common problem among school districts in Lower Bucks County: Motorists are driving by school bus stop arms and red lights.

With National School Bus Safety Week concluding Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wanted to raise awareness about drivers stopping for school buses and local police departments got on board.


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 potential consequences and reduce the occurrence of illegal school bus passes.

Northampton Township and Lower Southampton Township police departments were among those participating in Operation Safe Stop on Wednesday.

In Northampton Township, some Council Rock School District students may have noticed a police officer on their bus.

Police Officer Patrick Jainnini rode a school bus while Sgt. Zachary Wyant followed the bus to ensure that everyone stopped for the bus lights.

Northampton Township Police said they were pleased to report no motorist violations.

Meanwhile, Lower Southampton Police were also involved in the program.

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, police said.

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or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.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, Lower Southampton Township Police said.

The Bensalem Township Police Department has cracked down on motorists who are violating the law.

In the past year, Bensalem Police said that they have issued 5,563 civil violations to owners of vehicles that have failed to stop for school bus stop arms and red lights.

“We view it as a very successful program,” Public Safety Director Bill McVey said. “Our goal is to change driver behavior with enforcement and education.”

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