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Traffic safety around school buses urged

Improving motorist safety around school buses will be

Improving motorist safety around school buses will be the topic of a news conference at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Longwood High School in Middle Island. (Sept. 2, 2011) Credit: Steve Pfost file

Operation Safe Stop, a statewide program designed to improve motorist safety around school buses, will come to Longwood High School in Middle Island on Wednesday.

Dozens of local police will monitor “hot spots” where school bus drivers have observed motorists passing stopped school buses, Longwood school district officials said.

Stephen Shadbolt, a past president of the Suffolk County chapter of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, will be joined by law enforcement personnel and state and local officials at the high school to bring attention to traffic safety, school officials said, and a news conference will be held at 12:30 p.m.

“The illegal passing of school buses occurs over 50,000 times per day in New York State, presenting a significant risk to the 2.3 million children who ride school buses to school each day,” Longwood transportation coordinator Gale Winsper said in a statement.

State law requires drivers to come to a full stop when they approach a school bus with red lights flashing. The lights mean that a child is about to board the bus or disembark.

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