County issues update on School Bus Safety Program

Goshen. Enforcement went into effect June 8.

Goshen /
| 11 Jun 2024 | 01:07

After an extensive 30-day warning and education period, the county’s school bus safety program is now in full effect, with fines and photo enforcement commencing.

The program aims to tackle the pervasive issue of illegal school bus passing and make roads safer for students by gradually equipping school buses used by public school districts with safety technology, including stop-arm cameras that detect the license plates of vehicles that fail to stop for school buses. The video evidence is shared with Orange County to determine whether a violation has occurred.

For the first 30 days of the program, over 1,000 warning letters were issued to vehicle owners who illegally passed a stopped school bus. As of June 8, motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus will receive a $250 citation in the mail. In Middletown, enforcement will begin starting June 20.

According to New York State law, the penalty for breaking the law as captured by the school bus stop-arm camera is assigned to the vehicle owner, and it comes with a minimum civil penalty of $250. Driver’s license points or insurance rates cannot be affected through the stop-arm camera civil enforcement.

“Motorists must understand that passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing is illegal,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. “Per state law, traffic approaching from any direction must come to a complete stop before reaching the bus, whether on a two-lane road, multi-lane highway, or divided highway. Orange County motorists must follow that law or pay the price.”

In addition, the school districts have access to additional safety features, including interior cameras to monitor dangerous activity onboard the bus. The technology, installation, and maintenance are provided at no cost to the school district or taxpayers.

New York State law requires motorists to stop at least 20 feet away from a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing and stop-arm deployed. According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, school buses are illegally passed 50,000 times each day in New York State.

For more information about the Orange County School Bus Safety Program, visit School Bus Safety Program at