Submitted by kochn on Wed, 12/19/2012 - 9:54am.
December 14, 2012
Amherst Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone and Superintendent of
Schools Maria Geryk would like to remind drivers of the importance of
stopping for school buses with red flashing lights. The Amherst Police
Department participates annually in programs designed to promote
pedestrian safety such as Operation Yellow Blitz, National Walk and Bike
to School Day and Safe Routes to School. The police department also
works together with the Amherst School Department and local bus
companies following up on reports of drivers not stopping for school
The penalties in Massachusetts for passing a school bus with its red flashing lights on are a $250 fine for the 1st offense, and a $1,000 fine and 6 month license suspension for the 2nd
offense within 2 years. The fine for not stopping for a pedestrian in a
crosswalk is $200. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
reports that in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated
70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average,
a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes
in traffic crashes.
The Amherst Police Department would like drivers to take these simple steps before travelling:
When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people.
Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks.
Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is
preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down
and prepare to stop their vehicles.
Red flashing lightsand extended stop arms indicate that
the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off.
Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop
flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving
before they can start driving again.
Take time to clear all windows of frost and/or snow.
For additional information please contact Sergeant Todd Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 259-3000.
Last updated December 19, 2012