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New York State Police cracking down on drivers passing stopped buses

Ellen Abbott
Capt. Jeffrey Raub, with the New York State Police, discusses the importance of reducing incidents involving drivers and school buses.

On Thursday, the New York State Police will be watching for people who illegally pass school buses.

“Law enforcement across the entire state will be following school buses," says Capt. Jeffrey Raub, a zone commander out of North Syracuse. "We’re doing that so we can observe violators who are passing busses when the busses are stopped."

Raub says police agencies are hearing from school districts about people who illegally pass school buses that are stopped to drop off or pick up students. And this crackdown will target those areas.

"We tailor our response to where they’ve seen the violators," he said. "We have low profile vehicles, we have our concealed identity vehicles and we have unmarked vehicles that we use so that we’re able to detect the violators.”

And he says if there are any tickets handed out, the fines are stiff.

"The first fine can be up to $400," Raub said. "And then with each successive conviction in three years, it can jump to $750 the second occurrence and $1,000 the third occurrence, and it can involve up to six months in jail.”

Raub says there have been 35 instances in New York state in the past few years, where children have been hit while getting on or off a school bus.

"We haven’t seen that locally, but we’ve been fortunate, and we want to keep it that way,” Raub said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.