When will people learn? In case you didn't know the red stop sign on the side of a school bus when blinking red means STOP! Apparently some people can't get it through their thick skulls. Every time a driver passes a stopped school bus a child's life is at risk.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office has released the number of violations they enforced for the 2023-2024 school year and it is unacceptable and disgusting. It was approximately one year ago the Oneida County Sheriff's Office partnered with a company called Verra Mobility to place devices on area school district buses to catch drivers who passed school buses dropping off children. This company provides state-of-the-art stop arm technology to help law enforcement prosecute those people.

The technology is sophisticated enough where the cameras record video of the vehicle and take photographs including the vehicle, its license plate, and the extended stop-arm. Then, the footage is reviewed by members of the Sheriff's Office prior to the citation being issued. Well, the numbers are in and they are absolutely pathetic.

The Sheriff's Office says that there were a total of 852 violations this year and they broke it down by district. Here are the results.

Holland Patent – 54 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
New Hartford – 178 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
New York Mills – 97 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
Rome City – 77 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
Sauquoit Valley – 34 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
Waterville – 33 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
Westmoreland – 97 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
Whitesboro – 282 citations issued for passing a stopped school bus
According to New York State Law,
The penalty for a passed school bus violation is a fine of $250 for a first violation, to a maximum of $1,000 for three violations in three years. Additionally, if a vehicle owner is convicted of three violations in three years, their driver’s license can be revoked for a minimum of six months.
The solution is simple. STOP. That's it. It doesn't matter how much of a hurry you're in. No child's life or limb is worth you being a little late to wherever you have to go. Any time you see that red sign swing open you need to just stop and wait.

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