On Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, the 23rd annual Operation Safe Stop will be conducted in communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs Oct. 21-25. Operation Safe Stop is a public awareness and enforcement effort to educate the motoring public that passing a stopped school bus, when children are loading or unloading, is both dangerous and illegal. Each year, through Operation Safe Stop, law enforcement agencies, school transportation providers, pupil transportation associations and PennDOT have combined their efforts to raise public awareness about the potential consequences and reduce the occurrence of illegal school bus passes.

Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.

Activities associated with the National School Bus Safety Week are Bus Evacuation Drills which were done in September, 2019 and will be done again in the spring. These drills were conducted with the help and support of Joseph Muccio Transportation LLC. The District is promoting Bus Safety Awareness with assemblies and individual classroom projects. In addition, the PA State Police in Marienville will be monitoring bus routes and checking for motorist in violation of the safety laws.