Long Island officials, school districts, and law enforcement officers came together today to commemorate Operation Safe Stop, a public awareness event hosted by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT), BusPatrol, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA), and the Suffolk County School Bus Safety Committee.
The annual one-day Operation Safe Stop initiative prioritizes school bus traffic enforcement. For the last two decades, New York State law enforcement agencies have doubled down on student safety by following and riding onboard school buses to watch for stop-arm violations. This year, for the first time, police officers leveraged new AI-powered tools and data to help curb dangerous driver behavior, targeting high-risk areas identified through the Suffolk County School Bus Safety Program.
With the recent adoption of automated school bus enforcement technology in communities across New York State, stop-arm programs enable law enforcement officers to monitor and enforce dangerous driving behavior around school buses every day of the year.
Speaking at the event, Joe Lesnick, Vice President at Suffolk NYAPT, said: “For almost two decades, we have been working to bring awareness to the dangers of stop-arm violations. In New York State, motorists unlawfully pass stopped school buses up to 50,000 times a day. Now, municipalities and school districts across the state are equipping their school buses with automated enforcement technology to help local law enforcement capture and enforce stop-arm violations. NYAPT is proud to be working with BusPatrol on this initiative to make roads safer across the state.”
This year’s event also marks one year since the launch of the Suffolk County School Bus Safety Program. Through the program, school officials from over 70 participating school districts, local law enforcement, and BusPatrol, collaborate to educate motorists through targeted-awareness campaigns and automated enforcement efforts.
Jean Souliere, CEO and Founder at BusPatrol was also in attendance. He said: “Student safety is not just the responsibility of bus drivers, or the schools, or the police department. It is all of our responsibility. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that our kids can get to school and back home safely. School bus safety programs like Suffolk County enable local law enforcement to capture every violation. With this technology, every school day is like Operation Safe Stop as we ensure that motorists respect stopped school buses and help keep children safe.”
BusPatrol school bus safety programs are live in Suffolk County, Dutchess County, and the City of Niagara Falls. School districts in Albany County and the Town of Hempstead are set to launch stop-arm safety programs with BusPatrol in the new school year.
Communities that are interested in learning more about making roads safer with BusPatrol are encouraged to visit https://buspatrol.com/join/