New initiative in Montclair has unmarked police cars following school buses

Posted: Updated:

Police are taking extra steps to make sure kids are safe when they’re getting on and off the school bus, and that means cracking down on drivers who are breaking the law.

To make sure drivers are not plowing through school buses that have their red flashers on, each morning during the school week, two officers follow the buses in unmarked vehicles.

Since police have been doing the new initiative, they’ve handed out 25 tickets.

“Back in November across the country, we had multiple fatalities involving school buses,” says Police Officer John Bossolt.

Last fall, five children were killed in the same week at school bus stop incidents in Indiana, Mississippi, Florida and Pennsylvania.  

In an Indiana case, a 9-year-old shielded her 6-year-old twin brothers. They all died.

“We're hoping not just through ticket enforcement, but through awareness, through media, social media that become aware and realize how important, how serious and how dangerous it is,” says Bossolt.

Drivers need to stop at least 25 feet away on both sides of the road when a school bus has on its red flashing lights.  

Bossolt said it’s also important to slow down when the yellow lights are on.

If you receive a ticket, you potentially face five points on your license, a $100 fine for the first time offense and a possibility of up to 15 days in jail.

The initiative has been getting support from all over the state, including North Jersey AAA.

They will work with the department to get out pamphlets and other promotional material.

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