Operation Safe Stop focuses on getting children to school safely

Operation Safe Stop is underway in Central New York

Operation Safe Stop is underway in Central New York. The campaign is designed to ensure children get to and from school safely every day.

As part of Operation Safe Stop and Spring Into Pedestrian Safety Week, law enforcement officials from across the state will use marked and un-marked patrol cars to follow school buses in heavy traffic areas. They'll be on the lookout for drivers who pass buses illegally or speed through school zones.

Police say drivers need to remember if a bus has its flashing red lights on, that means the bus is picking up or discharging students, and it's illegal to pass the bus.

If a driver does pass a school bus illegally, he or she can face stiff penalties, including fines of up to $400, five points on his or her license, or even time in jail.

Experts estimate that across the state, drivers will illegally pass a school bus more than 50,000 times per day. Operation Safe Stop Day is designed to change that behavior.

In 2011, police across the state wrote 1603 tickets on Operation Safe Stop Day. In 2010 and 2009, 1,440 tickets and 1,697 tickets were written, respectively.

Do you think this campaign is a good idea? Have you ever seen someone pass a school bus illegally? Do you worry about other drivers when you put your children on the bus? Post your comments below.

Operation Safe Stop is already writing tickets for school zone speeding.2 school employees were ticketed.One of them is a principal.

â?? Jessica Cain (@JessicaCainNews) April 18, 2012