Illegal Passing: Real–Life Successes

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Statewide Programs

Connecticut Operation Safe Stop

Description/Activities

Connecticut’s Operation Safe Stop was started about 1995, following New York’s Operation Safe Stop model. The primary sponsor is the Connecticut School Transportation Association (COSTA), an association of all the school bus carriers, public and private, in Connecticut. The partners involved in Operation Safe 
Stop include:

• COSTA

• Governor’s Office

• State Highway Safety Office

• Department of Public Safety

• Department of Motor Vehicles

• State and local media

• Local police departments

• Superintendents of schools

Operation Safe Stop’s focus is one day in April that is declared by the governor as Operation Safe Stop Day. On this day police officers, state troopers, and motor vehicle inspectors (who can write tickets) target Trouble Spots (routes and stops) with concentrated enforcement. The fine for a first offense is $450.

COSTA distributes a how–to packet to local coordinators. It also provides items (buttons for drivers to wear, commuter mugs for officers) for the school bus companies to buy and distribute.

NOTE: Ninety percent of school transportation is contracted in Connecticut.

Noteworthy Aspect

Every year COSTA does a survey of stop-arm violations one month before Operation Safe Stop Day and then again on Operation Safe Stop Day. COSTA sees a significant reduction in violations between those two surveys as well as a reduction from year to year. For example, the 1999 March survey results were 34 percent lower than the March 1998 survey results.
Best Practices Guide: Reducing the Illegal Passing of School Buses