Utica, NY (WIBX) - In an effort to educate motorists about school bus safety, Utica Police officials are launching "Operation Safe Stop" to enforce the traffic rules involving school buses. "Operation Safe Stop" is taking place  this Wednesday, March 30,  throughout Oneida County. Officials say during the operation, police officers will be traveling on school buses and in marked and unmarked vehicles to patrol bus routes and will pay close attention to routes that have a history of illegal passing complaints.

A driver caught passing a school bus illegally can be fined up to $400. The law mandates that motorist slow down when the yellow lights on a school bus goes on, which indicates that the bus is coming to a stop. Also, the red lights mean students are getting on or off the bus and motorist must stop. Officials say the goal is not only to enforce the law, but to also educate motorists about the dangers of passing stopped school buses.

Operation Safe Stop program is a cooperative project supported by the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association, the student transportation industry and state, county, city and local law enforcement agencies.