UPPER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, Cumberland County, Pa. - People not stopping for buses when their lights are on when picking up students is a problem many police departments see. Wednesday, the Upper Allen Township Police Department took part in a statewide initiative to promote school bus safety, called Operation Safe Stop.
"They see a school bus, the amber lights come on which the law says you need to be prepared to stop when that happens," said Upper Allen Township Police Ofc, Chad McClure. "I think a lot of people see that and they don't immediately put it together that the red lights on this school bus are about to come on and I need to stop."
Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law requires drivers to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Failing to stop can result in a $250 fine and 60-day license suspension.
Wednesday morning's patrols turned up no violations for the Upper Allen Township Police Department but that wasn't necessarily what the officers were out to do.
"This isn't measured in number of stops or citations," said Ofc. McClure. "A lot of the things in law enforcement is visibility, marked police vehicles in certain areas at certain times."
While the department dedicated much of its force to Operation Safe Stop, these patrols don't just happen once a year. Officers not on a call or conducting an active investigation are encouraged to follow bus routes.
For more information on Operation Safe Stop, click here.