Transportation departments invited to participate in national safety survey

While school buses remain incredibly safe, students are most vulnerable when they are outside the bus and within in the danger zone. This is why Maine school bus drivers have been invited to collect survey data about illegal passing to help improve safety countermeasures at the state or national level.

This national survey is conducted annually in order to document illegal passing of school buses. The survey is conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS). Results of the national survey are typically made available during July and will be published on the NASDPTS website.

On April 6, school transportation directors across the state will instruct bus drivers on how to observe and report any instances of motorists illegally passing school buses.  Maine school transportation directors were recently sent instructions on how to properly document and report these violations. Questions regarding the instructions can be directed to Maine DOE’s Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

To learn more about the school bus safety stop law that protects students in the danger zone, visit www.nasdpts.org/StopArm. A public service announcement (for your use) developed by WNCN in Raleigh, North Carolina is also available on the website.

Each state has different driving and stop laws. The Maine law, governed by Title 29-A, section 2308, states, “The operator of a vehicle on a way, in a parking area or on school property, on meeting or overtaking a school bus from either direction when the bus has stopped with its red lights flashing to receive or discharge passengers, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus. The operator may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the school bus operator to proceed.”

For more information about Maine driving laws associated with school buses, contact Maine State Police Inspection Technician Lt. Bruce Scott at bruce.g.scott@maine.gov.

For information about school transportation, contact Maine DOE’s Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

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