As students head back to school, a national association representing directors of pupil transportation warns that motorists across the country continue to illegally pass school buses as many as 16 million times a year.
The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) last month released the results of its 2nd annual survey on illegal passing of school buses. About 20 percent of the nation’s school bus drivers, from 28 states, participated in a one-day survey to report how many times motorists passed their stopped school buses while the buses were stopped displaying their flashing red lights and stop arms.
In Michigan, 1,439 participating drivers reported 609 illegal passing incidents, evenly split between morning and afternoon.
Nearly 100,000 drivers nationwide reported that 88,025 vehicles passed their buses illegally on a single day. Throughout a 180-day school year, these sample results alone point to nearly 16 million violations by private motorists, the NASDPTS reports.
“There are over 480,000 school buses on the road each day in the United States,” Mike Simmons, NASDPTS president, said in a press release. “Students are far safer in school buses than the other ways they get to school, but when they are outside the bus, they are the most vulnerable. Any driver who passes a stopped school bus illegally is gambling with a child’s life.”