Drivers illegally passing school buses in Northampton

Police increasing enforcement along bus routes

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton police have received several reports of cars illegally passing school buses while they are picking up and dropping-off children.

Northampton Police Capt. John Cartledge told 22News that more officers will be staffed along bus routes, and they will be giving tickets to each and every driver who breaks this law.

It is against state law to pass a school bus when it is stopped, and its red lights are flashing; that is the signal that the driver is picking up or dropping off children. If you are caught going around a bus when those lights go on, the fine is a steep one.

“The first offense is $250, and the next offense is $500, so they are steep fines. It is a significant violation, especially when children are involved,” Cartledge said.

A third-time offense is about $1,000. Captain Cartledge told 22News that you also cannot pass school vans while they are stopped with lights flashing. He said that the police department has received reports of drivers breaking this law on nearly every bus route.