AAA kicked off its annual "School's Open, Drive Safely" campaign at the Genesee Street Children's Center on Wednesday

Ed Welsh, Regional General Manger of AAA Northeast, says motorists should get rid of any distractions and watch for stopped school buses picking up and dropping off kids.

He says children need to be reminded to cross at crosswalks and not to dart between cars. Welsh says if everyone works together, they can get an "A" in back to school safety.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says one of the most dangerous things they see is motorists passing stopped school buses.

He says passing a stopped school bus in New York state is one of the most severe vehicle and traffic law offenses.  If convicted, it's five points on your license, in addition to some hefty fines in excess of $500.

Maciol says if you're on the same road with a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing, you must stop.

He says the Sheriff's Office will out in full force on the first day of school and throughout the year watching for people passing stopped school buses.

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