Operation Safe Stop to enforce school bus law in Central Pennsylvania

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SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The stop sign comes out, the bar swings across, the flashing lights turn on, and some drivers choose to just ignore it all.

Colleen Berkey, a parent of a sixth grader in Springettsbury Township, York County, said,
"Motorists don't know that they're to stop."

Parents in the township said they fear for their children's safety when they see drivers go around a stopped school bus with its lights on.

Berkey said, "My daughter should be able to cross the street in sixth grade without her mother."

People said cars go around the after school bus almost every day at the intersection of East Market Street and Findlay Street, and they don't want it to get worse.

"I grew up knowing two children who were hit by cars while getting off the bus and that was years ago. This is a definite problem and I'm surprised that more kids aren't hurt," Berkey said.

Police were out in Central Pennsylvania for Operation Safe Stop, where law enforcement officials follow school buses and ride on them with kids.

Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Adam Reed said, "The goal of it is to not only enforce the law but also raise public awareness about the law because simply a lot of people don't know what to do in and around school buses."

Drivers are supposed to stop 10 feet away from a stopped school bus with its flashing red lights on.

Reed said, "If you are coming toward a stopped school bus going the opposite direction on the road, you must stop if there's no barrier in between the lanes of traffic."

And parents are glad police officers are doing what they can to keep their kids safe.

Berkey said, "Super excited just for the fact that it'll shed light on the issue."

The consequences for passing a stopped school bus can be a $250 fine and a mandatory 60-day license suspension.