Operation Safe Stop highlights the stopping of school buses



The only bad behavior on the road Wednesday morning during a state police ride on a school bus from the Grand Latrobe was from a deer and three raccoons.

No motorist broke the law while Private Brandon Boyd was on board, but many young people heading to the school were delighted to see two police officers – Boyd in the front seat and Private Nicholas Loughner behind.

“There is a police car behind us! one of the students exclaimed.

The pair of soldiers, and others in the area, participated in Operation Safe Stop by skirting or monitoring bus routes in an effort to ensure motorists obeyed the laws. Patrollers can check bus lines any day of the year when they spot one carrying students, according to Private Steve Limani.

“We had no written quote (Wednesday),” he said.

But if Boyd had been in the route of DMJ Transportation driver Ray Thomas on a recent day, he might have spotted a motorcycle that Thomas said passed the flashing red lights and stop sign as Thomas picked up his first student. elementary school.

Thomas left the Unity terminal at 6:25 a.m. Wednesday for his first route of the morning around the Twin Lakes area in Unity. He greeted each middle and high school student by name as they boarded in the dark under a full moon with little other traffic.

After a short break and the sunrise, it was time for the elementary students, who were much louder than their older counterparts. Thomas headed for Crabtree and there was more traffic, which stopped as he picked up the younger loads.

When bus drivers are involved in an incident where a motorist does not stop, they should fill out a report with as much information as possible and pass it on to the state, said Mark Kraynick, safety coordinator of DMJ transport. From there, the state police determine if there is enough information to proceed with a citation.

Kraynick said he recently noticed a marginal increase in the number of driver reports. Disobeying the stop sign could ultimately be a safety concern for children getting on and off buses, sometimes in the dark, he said.

State police have said drivers must stop at least 10 feet from a school bus with an extended stop sign and flashing red lights, whether they are behind or approaching the bus. . When a school bus picks up or drops off a child at an intersection, other drivers must stop until the flashing red lights are turned off.

Violations result in a $ 250 fine and a 60-day license suspension, police said.

Drivers separated by a physical barrier, such as a median or guide rail, of a school bus picking up or dropping off students do not have to stop.

Renatta Signorini is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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