2012 National Stop Arm Violation Count
While school buses remain incredibly safe, students who ride buses are most vulnerable as pedestrians when they are outside the bus in the “danger zone.” At the NASDPTS Conference in October 2010, state directors held a panel discussion on Loading Zone Safety where we discussed the problem and the various contributing causes and potential solutions. As a result of that discussion, NASDPTS passed a resolution to coordinate the first national survey to determine the prevalence of illegal passing of school buses. Using that data as a starting point, we may then be able to develop and promote improved safety countermeasures at the state or national level.
NASDPTS requested that each state choose a single day on which to have school bus operators (public and contracted) observe and report any instances of motorists illegally passing their school buses. Here is the NASDPTS Resolution directing the effort. To see the methodology and instructions given to the states, click Here.
In 28 states throughout the country, school bus drivers recorded in a one-day snapshot how many times other motorists passed their school buses illegally while the buses were stopped displaying their flashing red lights and stop arms. Nearly 100,000 bus drivers reported 39,760 total stop arm passing incidents, often involving several cars in each incident. Reports were not available from all states, but in a typical 180-day school year, this sample of 88,025 vehicles that passed school buses illegally represent nearly 16 million violations by private motorists.
Data regarding the time of day, side of bus passed, direction of travel, and other information is available as follows: