Updated 09/05/2012 04:50 PM
Drivers reminded of school bus safety
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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- New York's police agencies and school districts are reminding drivers to be careful on the roads.
With school back in session this week, drivers will once again be sharing the roads with school buses.
Across New York, more than two million kids travel to and from school by bus every day, putting more than 50,000 buses on the streets. And each year, bus drivers watch as cars pass them in both directions, even though the bus is properly displaying the stop sign and flashing lights.
Officials say that distracted driving is a key reason many people miss the signals, especially on-coming traffic on a divided highway where the rules still apply.
Transportation coordinators say that it's about much more than just breaking the law.
"If you come up upon a school bus and you know it's going to be there the next day, you don't want to get behind it, take a different route, leave a little earlier, there are other things you can do. It's not worth putting a child’s life at risk and that is exactly what you’re doing when you pass a school bus with its red lights on," said Lisa Wilson, New York Association for People Transportation.
Penalties for a first offense of passing a bus with its lights flashing range from $250 to $500 fine, five points on your license and even possible jail time.