Murrysville police, Franklin Regional partner to emphasize school bus safety
Drivers who are too busy or careless to stop for a school bus may find themselves on the wrong end of a pricey traffic ticket later this month.
Murrysville police will partner with the Franklin Regional School District to promote National School Bus Safety Week from Oct. 21 to 25.
“It’s an annual detail that our police department partakes in,” Murrysville Chief Tom Seefeld said. “Its purpose is for our officers on patrol to monitor travel routes and designated school bus stops while students are entering or exiting a school bus to make sure motorists are obeying the law and not passing the school bus.”
Each year through the campaign, law enforcement, school transportation providers and PennDOT join to raise public awareness about the potential consequences of illegal school bus passing, in hopes of reducing its occurrence.
State law mandates that drivers stop at least 10 feet away from any school bus with its red lights flashing, whether they are behind the bus, approaching it head-on or approaching from an intersection.
Once the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm on the bus is raised, traffic can proceed.
If a physical barrier, such as a grassy median, guide rail or concrete barrier separates oncoming traffic from the bus, motorist driving the opposite direction can proceed without stopping.
“We hope to increase student safety and bring awareness of the importance of safe driving when approaching a school bus during the loading and unloading process,” Seefeld said.
Passing a school bus with its red lights on is punishable by a $250 fine, five points on a driver’s license and a potential 60-day license suspension.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .