Drivers in Erie County - consider yourself warned. Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout for motorists who have no patience for stopped school buses.
Operation Safe Stop, a statewide crackdown on drivers who pass buses that have their red and yellow lights flashing, will take place Thursday. Deputies will be conducting two details - from 6-9 a.m. and from 2-5 p.m. - when dozens of school buses are on the roads.
The sheriff's office will have 18 marked and unmarked vehicles patrolling bus routes with a history of complaints about drivers. Roving patrols will also be making the rounds across the county.
Drivers who bypass a stopped school bus can be fined $250 and receive five points on their license for a first conviction to up to 180 days in jail for a second or third conviction.
In the past four years, 35 students in New York state were struck by drivers who illegally passed stopped school buses. Some 50,000 vehicles illegally pass school buses every day, according to Governor Cuomo's traffic safety committee.