Oct. 21, 2015

HARRISBURG –School districts, law enforcement agencies, school transportation providers and PennDOT are reminding drivers of Pennsylvania’s school bus safety laws with Operation Safe Stop, an awareness and enforcement event held across the Commonwealth as a part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs from Oct. 19-23, said State Rep. Seth Grove (R-York).

A 2014 study by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, found in 29 states surveyed over the course of one day, nearly 76,000 cars will illegally pass stopped school buses. In Pennsylvania, drivers must stop a minimum of 10 feet away from a school bus with flashing red signal lights and with its stop arm extended. Drivers may not proceed until the lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn. Penalties for failure to follow the law include a $250 fine, five points on the driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

“Parents across the commonwealth watch their kids get on their school bus because they are worried about the safety of their children from dangerous individuals and reckless drivers,” said Grove.

“Pennsylvania, like the rest of the country, has a serious problem with school bus safety, as data shows every bus driver on average experiences an illegal passage once a day. Under current law, the responsibility of reporting the offense falls upon school bus drivers whose primary focus should be keeping our children safe. Additionally, these charges when filed against a driver are often downgraded.

“To address this problem, I have proposed legislation which would give school districts the option of using safe and proven technology to automatically enforce our school bus safety laws and hold violators accountable. This legislation would ensure that each school bus stop is a safe stop. Today, and every school day, I would like to remind drivers to follow our laws and keep our kids safe,” said Grove.

House Bill 1249 would authorize school districts to use cameras to capture instances of motorists overtaking school buses when their red signal lights are flashing and the stop arms are activated. The legislation would only authorize the use of this enforcement technology at approved stop locations and provide for the necessary exemptions outlined in state law, including emergency vehicles.

The legislation is under consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

For more information visit repgrove.com or Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Eric Reath
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove