Source: 24gotham/Flickr

The New York Police Department is cracking down on motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses with flashing lights, police sources told this outlet.

The initiative is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate pedestrian fatalities and was timed to begin on the first day of classes to protect returning students. The goal, say police, is to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement. The operation will last approximately six to eight weeks, beginning Thursday, September 4.

State law requires drivers to stop at least 20 feet away from a bus if it is has red lights flashing. Traffic must stop in both directions, even in front of a school and in school parking lots, and even if the motorist is on the opposite side of a divided highway.

Before a school bus stops to load or discharge students, bus drivers will usually flash yellow warning lights. Before the bus embarks again, the red lights will stop flashing or the bus driver or a traffic officer will tell you to proceed. Drivers should be cautious around buses; most bus-related deaths occur when children cross the street after being discharged, and motorists should look for children along the side of the road.

It’s a heavy penalty for those who violate the law, with fines as high as $1,000 and the possibility of imprisonment.

By Conviction Minimum
Fine
Maximum
Fine
Possible Imprisonment
First Conviction $250.00 $400.00 Up to 30 days
Second Conviction
(within 3 years)
$600.00 $750.00 Up to 180 days
Third or
Subsequent Convictions (within 3 years)
$750.00 $1,000.00 Up to 180 days

 

A similar crackdown, called Operation Safe Stop, occurred statewide in April at governor’s orders. An estimated 50,000 drivers illegally pass buses on New York state roads every day, according to a website created in conjunction with that initiative.

The NYPD has also put out the following flier to educate drivers on best practices for safely driving near school buses:

school-bus

Click to enlarge

  • BrookynBus

    Another ridiculous law. The law was meant for rural areas when a school bus is stopped on a two-lane roadway and cross the street both to the left and right. NYC was always exempt from this law because it never made sense here since no one supposed to cross the street mid-block anyway.

    But kids are supposedly too dumb to know what they should and shoudn’t be doing so the law was changed in case they cross where they are not supposed to cross. So maybe I can see the reason on a two lane street. But what kid will cross a street like Coney Island Avenue mid-block to get to the other side?

    What makes even less sense is for this law to apply to divided roadways like Ocean Parkway or Queens Blvd or example? It is not even possible for drivers to comply with the law on such roadways because you cannot even see a stopped school bus on the opposite service road since you are watching the road ahead. And if you do happen to look to the side and notice one stopping? Are you supposed to just slam on your brakes and just stop midblock?

    And I suppose this crackdown isn’t to raise some revenue?

    • fdtutf

      From the article: “Drivers should be cautious around buses; most bus-related deaths occur when children cross the street after being discharged, and motorists should look for children along the side of the road.”

      But that doesn’t matter, right? Anything that slows drivers down is automatically bad.

      “But kids are supposedly too dumb to know what they should and shouldn’t be doing so the law was changed in case they cross where they are not supposed to cross.”

      Some kids who ride school buses are too young to be capable of assessing traffic hazards adequately. This law is needed to protect those kids.

      • Allan Rosen

        What about divided roads? How does that make any sense?

        • fdtutf

          That depends on the legal definition of a “divided road.” If it includes city streets that are divided by medians, then obviously the law should apply.

          • Allan Rosen

            I don’t see how a “divided road” woud not include a median.

          • fdtutf

            When I think of a “divided road,” I think of an expressway or something similar. I don’t know how “divided road” is defined legally, and the answer may not be obvious.

        • Andrew

          To allow children to cross the street safely after getting off the bus.

          • Allan Rosen

            No one supposed to, should or would cross a divided road in the middle of the block because they would have to jump over the divider if there is a physical one. If it is a zebra stripe like Ocean Parkway, you have to be pretty dumb to do that unless there are zero cars around. An adult is more likely to take that chance than a kid especially a small child. I suppose we just have given up on parental responsibilities in our society.

          • fdtutf

            If the divider is a median, it’s only a few inches high. Why would you have to jump over it?

          • Andrew

            And what about children crossing a divided street at the corner, where there’s probably even a curb cut?

          • Allan Rosen

            How about teaching them to wait for the traffic signal to turn green before crossing instead of them getting in the habit at a very young age that it is okay for them to be able to cross the street anywhere and anytime they feel like? When I was five, my mother told me to never step into the gutter on the main road in front of my house, and the only street I was allowed to cross was the side street with very little traffic, and I always listened.

            Today, parents have no responsibilities, so we must pass laws to legislate common sense. Adults are just as guilty by crossing and paying little or no attention to their surroundings.

          • fdtutf

            Again, some children who ride school buses are too young to understand traffic rules. We’re sorry if being required not to kill them inconveniences you that much.

          • Andrew

            Most intersections are unsignalized. There is no traffic signal to wait for.
            True, drivers at unsignalized crosswalks are legally required to yield to crossing pedestrians, but this is widely observed in the breach. Do you think that the police should actively enforce this law – to protect pedestrians young and old – or would you consider such enforcement to be yet another money grab?

            Not that traffic signals even offer full protection. In most cases, they offer no protection whatsoever from turning traffic. This is one of the most common causes of pedestrian fatalities. Again, are you advocating in favor of vastly increased enforcement of this law? If so, we are in full agreement.

            Finally, people sometimes make mistakes. Small children, especially, don’t always have perfect judgment of traffic situations. I don’t think a child who makes a mistake deserves to die. I think the law should be set up to protect the most vulnerable members of society from death, even when they err. Perhaps you disagree.

          • fdtutf

            They can jump over the curb cut. That shouldn’t be a problem. 😛

      • Guest

        And just how much is that happening and does it stand out statistically from any other random even that can kill a kid?

        • fdtutf

          Is that really your criterion for whether or not motorists should obey the law? If so, I hope to hell you don’t have a driver’s license.

          Whether or not this “stand[s] out statistically from any other random even [sic] that can kill a kid,” it’s preventable.

          • Guest

            WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You-Know-Nothing-Allen-Rosen

      And this is the moment everyone who believes enforcement is about revenue takes a step back and thinks wow, this guy is dumb and just plain dangerous.

      • Allan Rosen

        If I am so dumb and dangerous, I guess Albany is just as dumb and dangerous because NYC was exempt from this law since the first cars appeared on the roads until only around ten years ago when the law was changed. How do you explain that, Mr know it all?

        And how are drivers supposed to even see a stopped school bus in the other or even same direction on Ocean Parkway?

        • Street Equity

          That’s a poor understanding of Albany and how laws are made.

          • Allan Rosen

            Please explain.

        • Andrew

          Around ten years ago? July 1979 was around ten years ago? If you don’t like it, I suppose you can complain to Governor Carey for signing it into law.

          I suggest that drivers use their eyes in order to see a stopped school bus.

          • Allan Rosen

            Time sure does fly. Anyway we got along just fine for 50 years without that law in NYC.

            Sorry, but it is just not possible on a divided road like Queens Blvd to be paying attention to the main roadway as well as the service roadways. Any driver knows this.

          • Andrew

            Time sure does fly.

            I suppose that’s the closest we’re going to get to an admission that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Anyway we got along just fine for 50 years without that law in NYC.

            Excellent argument for never changing anything at all.

            I’m afraid this is the law now, as it has been for 35 years. You don’t have to like it, but if you choose to violate it, you may be penalized for doing so. (That’s what it means to live in a legal society – we’re bound by the laws we disagree with along with the ones we agree with.) If you don’t think it should be the law, you’re welcome to tell your elected officials that you don’t think New York City schoolchildren deserve the same legal protection in crossing the street that schoolchildren everywhere else in the United States enjoy. (Good luck with that.)
            You know, every time word gets out that a driving law that’s already on the books is going to be enforced, you whine about it incessantly. Do you really think that anyone (aside from other self-entitled whiners) takes you seriously anymore?

            Sorry, but it is just not possible on a divided road like Queens Blvd to be paying attention to the main roadway as well as the service roadways. Any driver knows this.

            Sorry, but it’s a basic precept of defensive driving that drivers should be aware of their surroundings, not only what’s directly in front of them. Any good driver knows this.
            [image: Disqus] Settings
            A new comment was posted on Sheepshead Bites ——————————
            Allan Rosen (Guest):

            Time sure does fly. Anyway we got along just fine for 50 years without that law in NYC.

            Sorry, but it is just not possible on a divided road like Queens Blvd to be paying attention to the main roadway as well as the service roadways. Any driver knows this.

            7:18 a.m., Tuesday Sept. 9
            * Reply *
            Allan Rosen’s comment is in reply to *Andrew* :
            Around ten years ago? July 1979 was around ten years ago? If you don’t like it, I suppose you can complain to Governor Carey …

            Read more ——————————

            You’re receiving this message because you’re signed up to receive notifications about replies to Andrew_J_C.

            You can unsubscribe from emails about replies to Andrew_J_C by replying to this email with “unsubscribe” or reduce the rate with which these emails are sent by adjusting your notification settings .
            [image: Disqus]

          • Allan Rosen

            You obviously have very little experience in driving a car if you are going to make the ridiculous argument that someone going eastbound in one service road can see anything in the westbound service road, yet that is what this ridiculous law requires you to do which absolutely no one can adhere to.

            If you are going to also make the ridiculous argument that exempting NYC from the law or at least divided highways puts school children at greater risk (and without any statistics to back that up I might add), I can also make the ridiculous argument that allowing right turns on red in every other city puts pedestrians at greater risk, and don’t pedestrians everywhere deserve the same protection NYC pedestrians get?

            That fact is that needs differ in different cities, and one size fits all does not apply.

            Why should I admit that I don’t know what I am talking about because I couldn’t remember when the aw was changed.

          • Allan Rosen

            I bet you didn’t even know NYC was exempt until you looked it up because you thought I was just making it up.

          • Andrew

            You obviously have very little experience in driving a car if you are going to make the ridiculous argument that someone going eastbound in one service road can see anything in the westbound service road, yet that is what this ridiculous law requires you to do which absolutely no one can adhere to.

            Six figures. It’s called being aware of your surroundings. It’s called driving defensively. Try it some day.

            If you are going to also make the ridiculous argument that exempting NYC from the law or at least divided highways puts school children at greater risk (and without any statistics to back that up I might add),

            I didn’t make that argument.

            What I said was that you don’t get to decide the law (neither do I), and if you choose to violate the law, you may be penalized for it.

            Take it up with your elected officials if you think the law regarding passing stopped school buses should be relaxed uniquely in New York City.
            Maybe you can make the case that NYC drivers are exceptionally obedient of traffic laws, never speeding or running red lights or cutting off pedestrians who have the right of way, so schoolchildren are uniquely safe here.

            That fact is that needs differ in different cities, and one size fits all does not apply.

            And that somehow means that you should be entitled to ignore a law, without consequence, that’s been on the books since Governor Carey?

            Why should I admit that I don’t know what I am talking about because I couldn’t remember when the aw was changed.

            Because you pass off your incorrect facts as though they were truth. You could have said that the law has changed but you didn’t remember when. Instead you said with certainty that it was about ten years ago. It makes one wonder what other falsehoods you pass off as fact.

          • Allan Rosen

            Exactly when the law was changed really wasn’t very per tenant to the discussion, was it? It was only important that once the law didn’t apply to NYC. It wasn’t a major error as you are trying to make it seem like it was.

            You keep repeating that I should be following the law and implying that I am not following it. That is a much larger error when you have no idea whether I follow the law or not. But rather than ask the question, you just assume I violate it because you mistakenly believe I have no respect or any law. The fact is that I always stop for a school bus with its flashing red lights. However, on a divided road such as Queens Boulevard or Ocean Parkway where the service roads are about 100 feet apart, it is not possible to see what is happening on the other service road.

            So let’s say for arguments sake, you are traveling north on the Ocean Parkway service road, and a school bus stops in the opposite service road in mid block and some children get off and proceed to one of the islands. All cars in the main roadway supposed to stop while the lights are flashing to allow the children to cross the main road mid block (which by the way would be illegal there since there are traffic signals on all corners) and then proceed to the other island and cross that and the other service road.

            That makes sense to you? It is ridiculous and no cars would ever stop except for the cars behind the bus because they would have no choice anyway.

          • fdtutf

            “You keep repeating that I should be following the law and implying that I am not following it. That is a much larger error when you have no idea whether I follow the law or not. But rather than ask the question, you just assume I violate it because you mistakenly believe I have no respect or any law.”

            We tend to assume that because of your predictable whine-fest every time there’s news that a traffic law is going to be enforced, as Andrew pointed out earlier. Your whining makes it seem as if you don’t currently obey the law. If that’s not the case, maybe you should stop giving that impression.

          • Allan Rosen

            I was simply making the point that I don’t believe increased safety is the motive for enforcement but increased revenue.

          • Andrew

            Exactly when the law was changed really wasn’t very per tenant to the discussion, was it?

            Then why did you bring it up?

            I think it’s quite pertinent (“per tenant”?) that you present falsehoods as truth. I happen to have caught you on a few. One wonders how many more I haven’t caught you on.

            It was only important that once the law didn’t apply to NYC. It wasn’t a major error as you are trying to make it seem like it was.

            Actually, all that’s important now is that the law currently applies in NYC. If this were a discussion of tickets being issued retroactively to drivers who passed stopped school buses in 1978, I’d be the first to cry foul. But the tickets are in fact being issued, to motorists who choose to violate the law as it has existed for 35 years. Whether or not you agree with the law in question, there is nothing unfair about enforcement of an existing law!

            You keep repeating that I should be following the law and implying that I am not following it.

            Actually, I haven’t been implying anything of the sort. I’ve been simply objecting to your incessant whining whenever a driving law is seriously enforced. You whine about serious enforcement of speed limits, you whine about serious enforcement of red lights, and now you’re whining about serious enforcement of the law requiring stopping for school buses.

            The fact is that I always stop for a scho ol bus w ith its flashing red lights. However, on a divided road such as Queens Boulevard or Ocean Parkway where the service roads are about 100 feet apart, it is not possible to see what is happening on the other service road.

            Do you or don’t you always stop for stopped school buses? You just changed your mind from one sentence to the next.

            So let’s say for arguments sake, you are traveling north on the Ocean Parkway service road, and a school bus stops in the opposite service road in mid block and some children get off and proceed to one of the islands. All cars in the main roadway supposed to stop while the lights are flashing to allow the children to cross the main road mid block (which by the way would be illegal there since there are traffic signals on all corners) and then proceed to the other island and cross that and the other service road.

            It’s cute the way you excuse illegal behavior on the part of an adult licensed operator of a motor vehicle by pointing your finger at a child who may have made a simple mistake. Well, it would be cute if it weren’t scary. It’s downright juvenile, and I’m not referring to the child.

            That makes sense to you?

            Irrelevant. The police have the authority to enforce even laws that you or I think are stupid.

            By the way, you haven’t been objecting to enforcement of this law only on divided streets. You’ve been objecting to enforcement of this law anywhere in NYC. Most NYC streets are undivided.

            It is ridiculous and no cars would ever stop except for the cars behind the bus because they would have no choice anyway.

            Bingo. Without enforcement, lots of motorists do whatever the hell they want.

          • BrooklynBus

            I did not contradict myself at all. I stated that I always stop behind stopped school buses (with red lights flashing because that is the only time you supposed to stop) but I do not on divided roads when the bus is in the opposite direction or on a service road and cannot even be seen.

            Another poster stated that the law does not apply to main roads if a bus is on the service road, so I asked for a definition of a divided highway which thus far no one has been able to provide. You stated, however, even if the law is stupid, it should still be enforced, not that it should be changed. That says an awful lot about your common sense.

            Yes, and a law designed for rural roads has no place in NYC. Children need to be taught not to cross a wide or divided road, like I was taught when I was young, not to be encouraged to do so (and break the law if there is a traffic signal at both corners) at a young age. Today we substitute laws for good parenting.

        • You-Know-Nothing-Allen-Rosen

          Well for one no school children are discharged on Ocean Parkway. That would be incredible dangerous.

          Second, please understand the law before you criticize its application. If you mean the service roads along Ocean Parkway then you should know that the Ocean Parkway service roads are not the same roadways as ocean parkway. They have their own signals, and are their own roadways. It’s not what the law refers to as a divided highway.

          • Allan Rosen

            Please show me the definition for a divided highway because I cannot find one in the traffic regulations. If as you say, service roads are their own separate roadways and since no stopping is allowed on the main roadways of a divided highway, then what would be the purpose of including “divided highway” in the law, unless a zebra stripe qualifies as a divided highway and a physical median is not necessary? In 4-08, the only mention of a divided highway refers to parking along the median.

    • MyBrooklyn

      My kids never cross in the middle of road when getting off the bus…..this law is just to make inconvenience and generate revenue. but we will have some people here who will say its about safety….sure it is.

    • Andrew

      since no one supposed to cross the street mid-block anyway.

      Pardon? Crossing the street mid-block is perfectly legal in New York City, except “where signs, fences, barriers, or other devices are erected to prohibit or restrict such crossing or entry” and “on any block in which traffic control signals are in operation at both intersections bordering the block.”

      New York City Traffic Rules and Regulations, §4-04(c)

      But I guess it doesn’t matter, since the only traffic laws that matter are the ones you like.

      • Allan Rosen

        You are taking what I said out of context. On a divided road there are traffic signals at each intersection making midblock crossing illegal there.

        • Andrew

          Sorry, I’m not taking anything out of context. Here’s the full paragraph I was responding to:

          Another ridiculous law. The law was meant for rural areas when a school bus is stopped on a two-lane roadway and cross the street both to the left and right. NYC was always exempt from this law because it never made sense here since no one supposed to cross the street mid-block anyway.

          No mention anywhere in that paragraph of the presence of traffic signals at either end of the block (nor of a divided street, which, incidentally, is no less permissible to cross midblock than an undivided street).

          Come to think of it, why are you restricting your attention to midblock crossings? What about children who have to cross the street at the intersection?

          • Allan Rosen

            I have actually never even seen a school bus stop at an intersection. It is always mid-block and I’ve seen the same bus stop as many as three times within the same block. God forbid the kid should have to walk home from the corner, but local buses shoud never stop as frequently as every other block in your opinion. Every three to five blocks is quite sufficient in your opinion.

          • Andrew

            There are lots of things that you don’t see (or don’t remember having seen) that happen often. Not that it matters where exactly the bus stops – if the child has to get across the street, the child has to get across the street, and it’s the unfortunate reality that we can’t assume that motorists will yield to pedestrians in unsignalized crosswalks (as required by law).

            A school bus is not the same as a transit bus. What makes sense for one doesn’t necessarily make sense for the other. (Did they forget to teach that in 1974 or did they figure it was obvious enough that it didn’t need to be pointed out?)

          • Allan Rosen

            Both school buses and transit buses are based on schedules so the fewer stops that are made, the quicker the bus runs and the cheaper it costs to operate. The only difference exists for pre-school and up to about grade three where you woudn’t want children of that age to walk any distance. As far as older students, and non-special needs students, I see no reasn why te same standards we apply to everyone else shoudn’t be applied to them.

            When I was over 8, we all waked ten minutes to school by ourselves. Today everyone either drives their children to and from school, or they use buses. It seems that walking is now against the law. Maybe that’s why we have such a problem with obesity. And please don’t try to blame it on irresponsible motorists.

          • Andrew

            Both school buses and transit buses have wheels, too. That doesn’t mean that stop spacing is subject to the same considerations in both cases.
            Transit buses have to be as attractive as possible to their potential ridership, and stop spacing is one key factor in attractiveness. Stops that are too close slow down the bus; apps that are too far apart increase access time. The right balance needs to be struck. Best practice worldwide is to space bus stops much more widely than we typically do in the U.S.
            Attractiveness is not a significant concern for school buses. Maximizing safety for the children on the bus is. Closely spaced stops make sense on a school bus if they allow its riders to avoid crossing streets.

            (There’s a reason you haven’t been a bus planner in over 30 years, and it has nothing to do with fumes.)

            Lower operating costs are a side benefit of wide stop spacing, but they’re rarely the predominant concern.

            Plenty of children walk to school, but plenty of children go to schools outside walking distance. I can assure you that the 56% of NYC households that don’t own cars don’t drive their children to school.

          • Allan Rosen

            Wide stop spacing is to reduce operating costs and not a side benefit. Close stop spacing only slows down the buses when the bus actually has to stop at each and every stop. If the stos are lightly used, many are skipped anyway so the bus isn’t slowed by them being there. Riders, however are provided a higher level of service by them just being there in case they need to be used.

            In addition to having to walk less to and from the bus reducing total travel time which the MTA is disinterested in, the likelihood is also higher that you will catch a bus that you would have missed by having to walk further to access it, saving you another 10 or 15 minutes.

            Having been a very competent bus planner you improved trips for thousands of riders daily, I recognize that. You only know what the Internet and the MTA and DOT want you to know. Your insults do not change the facts or history.

          • Andrew

            Wide stop spacing is to reduce operating costs and not a side benefit.

            Absolute nonsense.

            Close stop spacing only slows down the buses when the bus actually has to stop at each and every stop.

            No, it slows down the bus if narrow stop spacing leads to more stops in practice than wide spacing, even if not every single stop is made. And, in fact, on most bus lines, that’s exactly what happens.

            If there’s no time savings in widening the stop spacing, there’s also no savings in operating expenses.

            If the stos are lightly used, many are skipped anyway so the bus isn’t slowed by them being there. Riders, however are provided a higher level of service by them just being there in case they need to be used.

            This is an optimization question. Bus stops that are too closely spaced are as much a disservice to the ridership than bus stops that are too far apart. (This is pretty obvious.)

            There’s been quite a bit of research on this topic. This paper includes a nice literature review: http://tram.mcgill.ca/Research/Publications/Bus_Stop_consoildation.pdf
            In particular:

            “Furth and Rahbee (7) observed that stops in northern European cities are spaced much farther apart than those in comparable U.S. settings, yet European transit systems are still able to capture a greater share of the urban travel market. Reilly (14) also found that the common European practice was to space stops at three to four per mile as compared with the U.S. practice of seven to 10 per mile.”

            and

            “Furth and Rahbee (7) employed a dynamic programming approach to determine the optimal number and location of bus stops for a heavily used route in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system. Using the route’s stop-level patronage data and a geographic information system, they initially allocated boardings and alightings from each stop on the route to parcels in the route corridor. They then determined the number and location of stops in the corridor that minimized passengers’ total time costs and the operating costs of the route given assumed values of walking and riding time, operating costs, and other operating factors. In contrast to the existing 37 stops, the model indicated that the optimal number of stops was 19, with several at new locations. Average spacing increased from approximately 200 to 400 m. Passengers’ average walking time increased 0.60 min, whereas their in-vehicle times declined 1.8 min.”

            Feel free to read the whole thing and to look up the references.

            In addition to having to walk less to and from the bus reducing total travel time which the MTA is disinterested in, the likelihood is also higher that you will catch a bus that you would ha ve missed by having to walk further to access it, saving you another 10 or 15 minutes.

            Nice job of double counting. You can count the increase in access time, or you can count the increase in wait time due to missing a bus and multiply it by the probability of missing a bus due to the longer walk. This is basic high school math. I tried to explain it to you in the context of SBS receipts, but clearly I didn’t do a good job. (Good thing I don’t teach high school math; I’m pretty bad at it.)

            Having been a very competent bus planner you improved trips for thousands of riders daily, I recognize that. You only know what the Internet and the MTA and DOT want you to know. Your insults do not change the facts or history.

            Very competent bus planners don’t brag about their employment experience over three decades after their less-than-one-decade-long career in bus planning has come to a close.

          • BrooklynBus

            “No, it slows down the bus if narrow stop spacing leads to more stops in practice than wide spacing, even if not every single stop is made. And, in fact, on most bus lines, that’s exactly what happens.

            If there’s no time savings in widening the stop spacing, there’s also no savings in operating expenses.”

            Now you have just contradicted yourself. First you say that in most cases “narrow” (when you mean close) bus stop spacing slows down the buses as compared to wide bus stop spacing. If so, then operating costs would be reduced. Then in the next paragraph you state that wide spacing results in no savings to operating costs. Please make up your mind.

            “Bus stops that are too closely spaced are as much a disservice to the ridership than bus stops that are too far apart. (This is pretty obvious.)”

            There is no disservice at all especially if half to two thirds of the stops are skipped anyway most of the time. They provide a greater service especially for those not able bodied such as yourself. But those people don’t count in your opinion.

            “Nice job of double counting. You can count the increase in access time, or you can count the increase in wait time due to missing a bus and multiply it by the probability of missing a bus due to the longer walk. This is basic high school math. I tried to explain it to you in the context of SBS receipts, but clearly I didn’t do a good job. (Good thing I don’t teach high school math; I’m pretty bad at it.)”

            There is no double counting. If a bus stop is removed, it is a certainty that walk time will be increased by having to walk further to the closest stop increasing his trip time by about three minutes. If someone misses the bus while making that walk, that and has to wait 10 additional minutes for the next bus, his trip will take anywhere between 7 and 10 minutes longer depending during what portion of the walk he missed his bus. So while there may be some overlap in extra travel time, the two factors are still mutually exclusive, extra walk (a certainty) and extra wait (a possibility).

            “Very competent bus planners don’t brag about their employment experience over three decades after their less-than-one-decade-long career in bus planning has come to a close.”

            They certainly can when the extensiveness and success of the routing changes they were responsible for has never been duplicated.

            We still consider Lincoln one of the greatest Presidents 150 years later, although he was only President for five years. I am not comparing myself to Lincoln, but just because I planned professionally only for about 9 years, does not diminish my accomplishments 30 years later. In fact, the time that has passed since the changes were made enhances my accomplishments.

          • BrooklynBus

            At an intersection, there is a traffic signal or stop sign anyway. So what you are saying is if a school bus is stopped at an intersection and the signal is green for the cars, the child should think it is okay to depart the school bus and cross on the red light instead of being taught that you should only cross at the green?

          • fdtutf

            Said it before, say it again: Some of the children who ride school buses are too young to learn about traffic safety, and many of those who aren’t too young to learn about it are too young to remember to apply it consistently.
            Why are you so opposed to enforcement of laws that prohibit drivers from passing school buses? Are you that eager to kill schoolchildren?

  • StopBadDriving

    Who cares if the purpose is to raise revenue, as long as the increasingly bad behavior of motorists is curtailed? “Just to raise revenue” isn’t even a valid argument on its own. It means nothing.

    • BrooklynBus

      It’s only bad behavior because it is breaking the law. The question needs to be asked how sensible the law is in te first place.

  • Local Broker

    “most bus-related deaths occur when children cross the street after being discharged” Any real stats to back up “most”?

    • MyBrooklyn

      that’s very true…

    • Andrew

      I haven’t seen stats, but the DMV website says the same thing:

      http://dmv.ny.gov/about-dmv/chapter-6-passing

      “Safety Tip: Most school bus-related deaths and injuries occur while children cross the street after being discharged from the bus, not in collisions that involve school buses.”

      • Allan Rosen

        But that is a statewide statistic even with the current law in place. Do you have any proof that these types of deaths decreased in NYC since the law was changed?

        • Andrew

          As I said, I haven’t seen stats. All I said is that this fact is reported on the DMV website. I can’t confirm or deny its correctness.

      • Local Broker

        Still doesnt make it so. Obviously it would be better if everyone pays attention and no one gets hit but passing a law for no reason without any real stats or facts is ridiculous.

        • Andrew

          The law in question was passed in New York City in 1979. It (with some local variation, of course) is currently the law in all 50 states plus DC. If you don’t think it should be the law, I’m afraid you’re going to have an uphill battle getting it overturned. Until then, it’s still the law, and the police have every right to penalize you if you choose to violate it.

          • Local Broker

            Its a good law in order to keep kids safe. Its the whole crack down thing that i dont get. Has there been an uptick in kids getting hit by cars getting off buses? Why are they so focused on this all of a sudden? When words like “most” are used with no facts to back it, it doesnt look good.

          • Andrew

            Presumably because of an increasing awareness that driving laws essentially go unenforced, with pedestrians being killed as a consequence.

            I’m not personally thrilled with the idea of a temporary crackdown as opposed to a permanent commitment on the part of the NYPD to enforce the law. But a temporary crackdown is still better than nothing, and I’ll take what I can get.

            I don’t think the sentence you quoted has anything to do with the crackdown, per se – it’s simply a statement provided by the DMV relevant to the law at hand.

          • BrooklynBus

            Or how about it being an excuse to raise some revenue?

            Did you happen to see the story on TV yesterday about speed and red light cameras? That in some cities drivers are getting tickets for going over the speed limit when in fact they are going under the limit or are stopped? That when two cars are crossing the intersection at nearly the same time, and it is not clear which car is actually going through the red light, summonses are sent out to both cars.

          • Andrew

            No, and of course I think that any ticket used in error should be dismissed. What does that have to do with correct enforcement of actual laws?

            In another thread I asked you why you thought that a camera issuing tickets to motorists driving 41+ mph in a clearly posted 30 mph speed zone was a speed trap. I don’t believe you ever answered.

          • Allan Rosen

            I am saying that revenue is the prime factor for the enforcement not improved safety, which government only considers as a byproduct. There is nothing wrong with enforcement of the actual laws when it is done for the right reason, safety, but that is not the case.

            If safety were the highest priority, DOT would not wait until lane and directional markings are 95 to 100% worn out before getting around to restriping. I was on a street the other day and there wasn’t a trace of the double yellow line in the center of the street. They also wouldn’t have poor and missing signage or dark area on highways and on entrances and exits for months and years at a time, and wait for a fatality to take action.

            When I see government pay more attention to those aspects of safety, maybe then I will believe them when they tell me they are taking certain actions to improve safety.

            Finally, I do not know what thread you are referring to. If 30 mph is an appropriate speed for the street in question, I do not believe that issuing tickets for going 41+ mph is a speed trap. If I said otherwise, it was in a different context.

          • Andrew

            I am saying that revenue is the prime factor for the enforcement not improved safety, which government only considers as a byproduct. There is nothing wrong with enforcement of the actual laws when it is done for the right reason, safety, but that is not the case.

            Let’s see. You’ve come out in opposition to serious enforcement of the law requiring motorists to yield to speed school buses. You’ve come out in opposition to serious enforcement of the law requiring motorists to stop for red lights. You’ve come out in opposition to serious enforcement of the law requiring motorists to abide by the speed limit. You’ve come out in opposition to serious enforcement of the law requiring motorists to yield to pedestrians crossing legally. You’ve come out in opposition to serious enforcement of the law requiring motorists to stay out of the bus lane. If there’s any driving law that you believe should be subject to, I’m afraid you still haven’t let on.

            In any case, you don’t get to personally decide which laws are enforced. (Fortunately.)

            If safety were the highest priority, DOT would not wait until lane and directional markings are 95 to 100% worn out before getting around to restriping. I was on a street the other day and there wasn’t a trace of the double yellow line in the center of the street. They also wouldn’t have poor and m issing s ignage or dark area on highways and on entrances and exits for months and years at a time, and wait for a fatality to take action.

            If DOT doesn’t have an unlimited budget or the capability to do everything perfectly, are you telling us that has no business implementing safety measures in other realms?

            How many New Yorkers, by the way, are killed or seriously injured by worn out lane markings or dark stretches of highway? Does it even approach the number killed our seriously injured by scofflaw drivers?

          • guest

            It doesn’t help that some cops are power hungry and think they are above the law. There are cops who break the law everyday. Run red lights for a non-emergency. Talk on cell phones, ignore stop signs, ignore school bus stop signs.

            Look, the main purpose of this crack down as well as speed cameras such as the one right on the belt entrance/exit ramp is to generate revenue and for nothing else. Every non naive New Yorker, driver or non-driver knows this. The mayor is still bitter about being caught speeding and going through stop signs. He also needs to pay for programs that require large amounts of money. Drivers are an easy target.

            Just because a law is on the books doesn’t mean it’s not ridiculous. Drivers are not going to go out there and run over children. If anyone thinks this is so, they need to get their head examined for this ludicrousness.

          • Andrew

            It doesn’t help that some cops are power hungry and think they are above the law.

            Fully agreed here. This is one place where camera enforcement can help a lot – a camera isn’t going to let someone off the hook because he flashes a badge or placard.

            It’s a bigger problem than individual cops, by the way. The police force as a whole simply doesn’t take these issues seriously. In many cars they’re misinformed about the law they’re sworn to uphold. For instance, last week, after a turning motorist struck a pedestrian crossing with the light in a crosswalk, the police declared that both parties had the right of way. The while point of the concept of “right of way” is to resolve conflicts like this – it is impossible for both parties to have had the right of way! In fact, in this instance, the pedestrian crossing with the light had the legal right of way, while the motorist was legally obligated to yield. Perhaps, if the police regularly enforced crosswalk laws, this motorist would have been in the habit of looking for pedestrians before turning through crosswalks – but the police aren’t going to enforce a law they don’t know exists.

            There are cops who break the law everyday. Run red lights for a non-emergency. Talk on cell phones, ignore stop signs, ignore school bus stop signs.

            Certainly. There are also non-cops who do the same. I’d like to put an end to both. That cops break driving laws is certainly no reason that non-cops should be entitled to break driving laws!

            Look, the main purpose of this crack down as well as speed cameras such as the one right on the belt entrance/exit ramp is to generate revenue and for nothing else.

            Actually, the main purpose is to save lives. Perhaps not a mission you care about, but it’s one I’m very glad the city has taken on.

            There are no speed cameras on entrance or exit ramps. There’s a speed camera on a city street, with a clearly posted 30 mph limit, that issues tickets to motorists who exceed that speed limit by more than 10 mph.

            The revenue contributions are entirely optional. If you don’t want to contribute, then don’t speed, don’t run red lights, don’t pass stopped school buses, don’t cut off pedestrians in the crosswalk, etc. I would prefer that you opt out of contributing.

            Every non naive New Yorker, driver or non-driver knows this.

            Every non naive New Yorker, driver or non-driver knows that many drivers in New York rampantly violate the law with impunity, and then whine up a storm if anybody dares to call them out on it.

            The mayor is still bitter about being caught speeding and going through stop signs.

            Then why is he implementing cameras which would have caught that sort of driving on video?

            No, the issue isn’t the mayor. The issue is that you and your cohorts are bitter that you’re going to get caught speeding, if you haven’t already, if you keep up your current driving habits.

            He also needs to pay for program s that require large amounts of money.

            Then I encourage you to opt out. Share the word. Let’s make sure that the cameras don’t collect a penny more!

            Drivers are an easy target.

            Oh, those poor, poor, downtrodden motorists!

            Just because a law is on the books doesn’t mean it’s not ridiculous.

            Excellent. So you and Allan both believe that stopping for stopped school buses is ridiculous.

            You’re entitled to your opinion, I suppose. But the law still holds.

            Drivers are not going to go out there and run over children.

            They already do, I’m afraid. Children who are crossing the street legally – or even in some cases standing on the sidewalk – are killed by scofflaw drivers. I want it to stop.

            If anyone thinks this is so, they need to get their head examined for this ludicrousness.

            If anyone thinks that motorists are being opposed by being asked, at long last, to follow the law, they need to get their head examined for this ludicrousness.

          • guest

            The fact that you literally just accused someone you don’t know of not caring about other peoples lives simply because they drive a vehicle is laughable. I feel sorry for you if you choose to go through life thinking everyone behind the wheel is out to get you.

            This is not about saving lives. If it were, that camera would be somewhere it could make a real difference. Like Ocean Parkway where we can all agree people do speed. It wouldn’t be directly off an exit ramp issuing $50 tickets to people that were doing 50 legally and now have to press on the brakes. Nobody is crossing over there. That is why it’s called a trap.

            You’ve already made up your mind obviously. I’m not going to get all Brooklyn on you. It’s not worth it.

          • Andrew

            The fact that you literally just accused someone you don’t know of not caring about other peoples lives simply because they drive a vehicle is laughable.

            I did?!

            I feel sorry for you if you choose to go through life thinking everyone behind the wheel is out to get you.

            That’s not what I think, but nice try.

            I think that some motorists are happy to take selfish shortcuts that endanger other people’s lives. And, with minimal enforcement, why wouldn’t they?

            This is not about saving lives. If it were, that camera would be somewhere it could make a real difference. Like Ocean Parkway where we can all agree people do speed.

            The city is now authorized to operate 160 speed cameras. I think it’s pretty likely that at least one is on Ocean Parkway.

            It wouldn’t be directly off an exit ramp issuing $50 tickets to people that were doing 50 legally and now have to press on the brakes. N obody is crossing over there. That is why it’s called a trap.

            Oh no, they have to step on the brakes! How terrible!

            A camera that tickets drivers who exceed the clearly posted speed limit by more than 10 mph is in no way a speed trap.

            You’ve already made up your mind obviously. I’m not going to get all Brooklyn on you. It’s not worth it.

            Excellent. Now you can get back to your prolific whining about those poor motorists who are suddenly bring asked to obey the law.

          • Allan Rosen

            You just have an answer for everything. Don’t you? You laugh that drivers have to step on the brake because you don’t drive and see traffic signals that are intentionally out of sync so as soon as one turns green the next one turns red and when that one turns green it does so as the following one turns red. The result is that it can sometimes take ten minutes to travel three blocks when there is no traffic and it should only take one minute.

            But you don’t drive, so why would you care about anyone who does? You don’t. Make everything as difficult as possible for the motorist is your belief because no one should be driving in this city anyway.

            Back to the issue being discussed. Cameras were authorized under the belief they would be placed in front of schools and would be in effect during school hours to make it more safe for students to cross. That is what we were told.

            Then they pass a law which permits placement of cameras within a quarter mile of a school which includes about 25% of the City when you include every small charter school.

            Do they put a camera in front of Lincoln High School? No. They put it behind the tennis courts just after the highway exit and before an entrance where NO ONE IS CROSSING THE STREET. How does that improve student crossing safety? It doesn’t. It was put there to raise revenue. Just like when the red light cameras were put in. They didn’t put them in the locations with the most fatalities. But at highway entrances where they would catch impatient motorists who figured it was the last light before the highway and they would save 30 seconds or a minute. They were likely to raise more revenue at those locations than intersections with the highest fatality rates.

            You are just naive if you don’t see that revenue is the main reason, and improved safety is secondary. But you have all the answers and believe every reason government give you and every phony statistic DOT and the MTA puts out.

            Did you see the TV report that challenged DOT’s study that since the bike lanes were installed on Columbus Avenue traffic between 72 and 96 Street moves 20% faster during rush hours? When Channel 7 tried to replicate those results and could not after receiving complaints that traffic had slowed. After a dozen attempts, they concluded that traffic was actually 20% slower, not 20% faster. DOT would not comment.

          • Andrew

            You just have an answer for everything. Don’t you?

            I’m sorry, I must have missed the memo that I’m not supposed to respond to comments that are addressed to me. Oh no, did I break that rule again?

            You laugh

            I don’t laugh when drivers kill pedestrians through a culture of rampant lawlessness.

            that drivers have to step on the brake because you don’t drive and see traffic signals that are intentionally out of sync so as soon as one turns green the next one turns red and when that one turns green it does so as the following one turns red. The result is that it can sometimes take ten minutes to travel three blocks when there is no traffic and it should only take one minute.

            I’m …… sorry? Where did that rant come from?

            I was responding to the whine that motorists “now have to press on the brakes” in order to slow down from 50 mph (the posted speed limit on the Belt Parkway) to 30 mph (the posted speed limit on its service road). I’m sorry if some drivers consider stepping on the brake to be an excessive inconvenience. (Note that slowing to merely 40 mph, while still not legal, is sufficient to avoid an automated speed ticket in a 30 mph zone.)

            But you don’t drive, so why would you care about anyone who does? You don’t. Make everything as difficult as possible f or the m otorist is your belief because no one should be driving in this city anyway.

            I’ve only driven hundreds of thousands of miles. I guess that’s just not enough to understand the extreme indignity to the motorist community of being expected to abide by the driving laws.

            Back to the issue being discussed. Cameras were authorized under the belief they would be placed in front of schools and would be in effect during school hours to make it more safe for students to cross. That is what we were told.

            I have no idea what you were told, but if the camera in question complies with the law – and I’m pretty sure it does – then the city has every right to use it.

            You may be surprised to learn that there are risks to pedestrians – students and others – who are not crossing the street.

            Then they pass a law which permits placement of cameras within a quarter mile of a school which includes about 25% of the City when you include every small charter school.

            Oh no! Are you telling us that motorists can speed with impunity in only 75% of the City? How terribly unjust!

            Do they put a camera in front of Lincoln High School? No. They put it behind the tennis courts just after the highway exit and before an entrance where NO ONE IS CROSSING THE STREET. How does that improve student crossing safety? It doesn’t. It was put there to raise revenue.

            I hate to break out to you, but the speed limit applies even where nobody is crossing the street.

            When all is said and done, there will be 160 cameras, many of them mobile. Not all of them will be in locations that you approve of, but nobody asked for your approval. The point is to persuade motorists to abide by the speed limit everywhere, not just in a few spots (I question whether 160 cameras are sufficient, but that’s all that Albany’s allowed).

            I hope you will opt out of contributing revenue through this program.

            Just like when the red light cameras were put in. They didn’t put them in the locations with the most fatalities. But at highway entrances where they would catch impatient motorists who figured it was the last light before the highway and they would save 30 seconds or a minute. They were likely to raise more revenue at those locations than intersections with the highest fatality rates.

            I addressed this already: http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/locals-say-speed-camera-placed-belt-parkway-exit-ramp-unfair/#comment-1574829546
            “Sorry, I don’t remember. There were 50 red light cameras in the first round of installations; are you suggesting that all of them were at the entrances to highways? Because that seems pretty unlikely to me. On the other hand, it also seems pretty unlikely that none of them were at the entrances to highways either – especially since some highway entrances have pretty bad safety records.”

            For example: http://ditmasparkcorner.com/blog/transportation/ocean-parkway-church-avenue-named-one-of-20-worst-intersections-for-pedestrians-enforcement-recommended
            I’m sorry that some impatient motorists had to learn the hard way that there are consequences to running red lights. It’s pretty astonishing – or maybe it’s not – that you’re defending the “rights” of impatient motorists to run red lights without consequence.

            You are just naive if you don’t see that revenue is the main reason, and improved safety is secondary.

            As I said, I hope you opt out.

            What’s your alternative suggestion for persuading motorists to break the culture of rampant lawlessness among motorists?

            But you have all the answers and believe every reason government give you and every phony statistic DOT and the MTA puts out.

            Good thing you’re on it! Whatever would we do without an expert like you?

            Did you see the TV report that challenged DOT’s study that since the bike lanes were installed on Columbus Avenue traffic between 72 and 96 Street moves 20% faster during rush hours? When Channel 7 tried to replicate those results and could not after receiving complaints that traffic had slowed. After a dozen attempts, they concluded that traffic was actually 20% slower, not 20% faster. DOT would not comment.

            You mean this one?
            http://7online.com/traffic/the-investigators-test-nycs-claims-that-bike-lanes-ease-traffic-delays-/309180/
            Or maybe its follow-up?
            http://7online.com/traffic/citys-claims-that-bike-lanes-help-traffic-tested-on-8th-avenue/311078/
            I suggest you read the comments.

            If there isn’t enough loading space for trucks, DOT should implement more. And if the existing truck loading zones are blocked by illegally parked cars, the NYPD should step up enforcement. Oh, wait, no, we can’t ask motorists to comply with the law!

          • liarliarpantsonfire

            You have never driven before. You are a transportation alternatives whiner.

          • Andrew

            Keep up the brilliant analytics!

    • Alex

      Local Bicker,
      even if you were given a statistic, I don’t think you would say it’s “real”.

  • Alex

    Those are kids.

    That’s what they do – run around without paying attention to a hazardous situation that may occur.

  • Horatio Caine, CSI Miami

    I wonder why the NYC exemption for school bus stopping was removed back then. In any case, children are much dumber than they were back then, so I have no doubt that today’s kids would indeed walk in front of a moving car and get squashed crossing the streets. In fact, both adults and youths hooked up to their Pods live dangerously every day. Vision Zero to the rescue.

    • Alex

      Its more like “Zero Vision” with kids, AND adults, staring into their smartphones instead of paying attention to the roads.

  • Rob Shinider

    The law is a good law, but enforcement without public education is just another De Blasio revenue scheme . THE LAW HAS NEVER BEEN ENFORCED IN NYC. NEVER !!!! Most people don’t even know it exists. DeBlasio’s vision zero has surprisingly no educational component at all. Pedestrians dart in front of my car on a daily basis. The law also says you must cross the street at a crosswalk . Let’s educate people and enforce laws against dangerous drivers and pedestrians not unsuspecting people just going about their daily life.

  • Train Driver 3rd Generation

    BrooklynBus’s comments on this article are utterly ridiculous and in many cases flat-out wrong. There’s no way he used to be the head of Bus Planning for NYCT. He’s too stupid. If he can’t even get the number of year right for hold long a law has been in effect, then how many other things does he get wrong???? Answer: almost everything!

    • BrooklynBus

      A sensible person doesn’t attack and insult without explanation. If he believes something is wrong he intelligently explains why. As far as getting a year wrong, I was speaking off the top of my head because it wasn’t important when the law was changed, but just that it was changed. I should have taken the time to look it up, but that in no way means that almost everything I say is wrong, just because you have different opinions. An intelligent person is willing to listen to opinions that he doesn’t agree with. You obviously believe yours are all correct and everyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong. If that is not true then feel free to engage in an intelligent discussion rather than engage in personal attacks.