More than 3,000 violations reported in program’s first year
With the new school year set to begin, the Broome County Office of Emergency Services is reminding drivers that if they illegally pass a stopped school bus, they will be caught and fined. Buses throughout the County are equipped with cameras that activate when the stop arm extends, allowing for video and photographs to automatically be taken of vehicles that illegally pass.
Under New York State Motor Vehicle Law 1174(a), drivers that approach a school bus that is stopped to receive or drop off passengers and has at least one flashing red light must stop and remain so until the bus continues moving or signals for the driver to pass. Each initial violation comes with a $250 fine which is issued to drivers by mail; second and third violations in an 18-month period are $275 and $300 respectively. The fines are set by the New York State law which permitted local governments to create their own stop-arm camera programs.
The program launched in June 2021 and recorded 3,030 violations in its first full year. The second year of the County’s Stop Arm program began this summer; during this summer break (July & August), when far fewer buses are on the road, 46 violations were recorded. The highest number of violations for any month of the 2021-22 school year was May 2022 when 439 drivers illegally passed stopped buses; the fewest violations for a month was September 2021 with 203.
Broome County’s program was created through a 2019 local law passed by the County Legislature and is managed by the Broome County Office of Emergency Services. For more information visit: https://gobroomecounty.com/e911/Stop-Arm