School Bus Safety Program

School Bus Safety Program

Brake for the Bus

Hicksville Public Schools is proud to announce that we’ve joined the Town of Oyster Bay’s School Bus Safety Program in line with NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law 1174-A. 

As part of the program, all school buses that transport Hicksville Public Schools students will be outfitted with safety technology to make the ride to and from school safer for all. This technology includes stop-arm enforcement cameras designed to detect vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses while the bus’s stop sign arm and red lights are engaged. Authorized approvers then review the footage to determine whether to issue a violation by mail.  

At Hicksville Public Schools, the safety of our children is a top priority. The New York Association for Pupil Transportation estimates that motorists illegally pass stopped school buses in New York State 50,000 times a day. Over time, this safety initiative seeks to curb dangerous driving behavior around school buses. 

It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing. According to New York State DMV, traffic approaching from either direction must stop before reaching the bus: 
On a two-lane road. 
On multi-lane highways. 
On divided highways.
A first-time stop-arm violation carries a fine of $250. Subsequence violations within an 18-month period are subject to a $25 increase, up to a maximum of $300. 

If you would like more information, we invite you to visit https://www.stop4mybus.com/regions/new-york-state and https://oysterbaytown.com/buspatrol/

The Illegal Passing of Stopped School Buses in New York State

 Every day 2.3 million children are transported by school buses throughout New York State. Data has shown that on a single school day, an estimated 50,000 drivers throughout the State illegally pass stopped school buses.*

In New York, a one-month study of 10 buses in East Meadow was conducted in 2019. Cameras recorded 615 illegal Stop-Arm passes, or roughly 2.3 per bus, per day. This represents three times more than the number of tickets given out by Nassau & Suffolk counties during the entire 2018-2019 school year. 


How Does the School Bus Safety Program Work?

School districts choose to opt into the School Bus Safety Program. Through the program, every bus in the participating school district’s fleet will be outfitted with the 360° Student Safety Platform. This includes stop-arm cameras, DVR and storage devices, GPS, telemetry, and LTE connectivity. 

Who Are Stop-Arm Violation Tickets Issued to, and How Much Will They Cost Violators?

Stop-arm cameras identify illegal passers by license plate number. Tickets are issued to a vehicle’s registered owner unless the automobile is proven stolen during the time of the offense. If someone other than the vehicle’s owner was driving at the time, the owner can request a transfer of liability.

In most states, a first-time stop-arm violation carries a fine of $250. In New York state, subsequent violations within an eighteen-month period are subject to a $25 increase in penalty, up to a maximum of $300.

In addition to the financial deterrent, violators learn about the potential dangers of their actions. Offenders can call the program's toll-free number and speak with a representative, who can review the video evidence with them and help them understand the dangers of illegal passing. Services are offered in both English and Spanish.

Data from other safety programs demonstrates that 98% of first-time offenders do not receive a second ticket, and that 95% of drivers do not contest their ticket after seeing video evidence of their violation.

When Should I Stop for a School Bus in New York State?

When a school bus stops and flashes its red lights, traffic approaching from either direction must stop before reaching the bus:
on a two-lane road
on multi-lane highways
on divided highways

Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Slow down and prepare to stop your vehicle.

Red flashing lights mean the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Stop your vehicle and wait until the school bus resumes motion or until signalled by the driver or police officer to proceed.

How to Behave Around School Buses in New York State  Information from DMV New York

School Buses are Unlike Other Vehicles  

School buses have bigger blind spots, take longer to stop, and need more room to maneuver than a standard vehicle. Buses should be treated differently than you would treat an average-sized vehicle. It is important for drivers to know how to react to a school bus in operation.  

When you encounter a school bus:  

• Slow down. School buses make frequent stops, so be patient and drive at a reasonable speed. Remember, in addition to picking up and dropping off students, school buses are required by law to stop at railroad crossings.  
• Be alert. Always be aware of children and parents that may be waiting at a school bus stop or perhaps running to catch the bus before it departs.  
• Come to a complete stop at least 20 feet away from the bus.  
• Be extra careful to look around before moving your vehicle, as children may be walking in front of, behind, or on the side of school buses. Check for pedestrians - especially near schools, bus stops, playgrounds, parks, and behind parked cars.  

Safety Tips for Children, Student Riders, and Parents  

Parents: You should discuss transportation conduct and safety rules with your children and share the safety tips below.  

• Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.  
• When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb and wait away from the street.  
• Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it's okay before stepping onto the bus.  
• If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (ten feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.  
• Use the handrails to avoid falling. Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.  
• Never walk behind the bus.  
• After you get off the bus, walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus  
• If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.  
• Students can only board and disembark at their designated stop.  

Important Safety Tips for Children to Learn and Remember   

• Check before you step.  
• I see the driver. The driver sees me.  
• Wait for the driver's signal to cross.  
• Look left, right, and left again.  
• Use a backpack or book bag to avoid dropping things.  
• Horn means danger.  

Learn More About School Bus Safety   

The primary focus of the School Bus Stop-Arm Safety Program is public awareness and education. The success of the program is measured in the reduction of stop-arm violations over time and not by the number of vehicles caught violating the law. Please review the information regarding school bus safety and the "danger zone" below.  

• Read the Code of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law §1174-a(m)  
• Read Senate Bill S4524B  

More Sites Containing Information on this Topic:  

• National Stop Arm Violation Count (NASDPTS)  
• Reducing the Illegal Passing of School Buses (NHTSA)  
• State School Bus Stop-Arm Camera Laws (NCSL)  
• NTSB Releases Full Final Report of Fatal Indiana School Bus Crash  
• DMV New York – School Bus Safety Laws  

Contact Information 

The following information is provided for assistance.  

To speak to a representative about a stop-arm violation, contact the Alertbus Customer Contact Center at 1-877-504-7080.  

The Contact Center is available Monday - Friday (8 AM – 5 PM). English, Spanish, and French-speaking customer service agents are available to address your inquiries. To expedite our service to you, please have your Citation Number ready when you call.  

To view the violation video evidence online or to pay a violation by credit card, visit www.alertbus.com and enter the following information: Your citation number (example: NY-777777), and vehicle license plate number (no dashes or spaces), as listed on your citation.