47 / 36
      54 / 44
      58 / 33

      Students rap about school bus safety as Operation Safe Stop nets 150 tickets in Onondaga County

      As the weather gets warmer, drivers sometimes need a refresher on the rules of the road, especially when it comes to school bus safety.

      A group of students that knows the routes best, The Hughes Bus Singers, rapped Monday morning at Dr. Weeks Elementary School in Syracuse. They are hoping to spread the message to motorists and show off what theyâ??ve learned to local law enforcement officials.

      As part of Operation Safe Stop, police across Onondaga County issued 6 tickets to motorists for passing a school bus on April 18. The penalty carries a $150 fine and 5 points on the driverâ??s license.

      On the same day, 144 motorists were ticketed for speeding in school zones â?? a total of nearly 150 tickets.

      Police say the biggest complaint they get from bus drivers throughout the year actually happens on school grounds. They say drivers often forget to stop for buses on school campuses.

      Michael Lefancheck, Chief of Police in Baldwinsville, says the results of Thursday's Operation Safe Stop are alarming when you consider about 150 tickets were issued in just one day and that there are just 180 days in the school year.

      Chief Lefancheck says police host Operation Safe Stop twice a year â?? in April and September.

      "What we often find is in September, when school starts, there's a lot of officers out, school buses are out there. People tend to pay attention and understand the rules of the road as it relates to school buses," Lafencheck says.

      Police notice people will become less in tuned in the winter, but when the snow starts to melt, there tends to be an increase in aggressive driving.

      "We found this is a good time [of year] to do another enforcement activity, an educational campaign to hopefully get people to understand. We still have a few months of school left, and it's important to pay attention to make sure our kids get to and from school safely," Lafencheck says.

      That's where First Student bus drivers Tyrone Jackson and Samar Mosley come in. They introduced a unique, creative way to get the Dr. Weeks students that ride their bus to participate in a conversation about promoting safety - through a rap song.

      "We just figured there's a lot of bus safety issues going on outside of the bus, same as inside the bus," says Jackson. "We thought we could reach kids by doing music, something they listen to, and learn at the same time."

      "We just wanted to promote safety through the music," says Moseley. "You know, just trying to get the message out there, how important it is to pay attention to the signs, to everything. Kids need to know too, when you're running around the bus, that's distracting to the bus driver. We need to focus so we can watch out and see what's going on."