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‘It amazes me’: school officials, law enforcement warning drivers to pay attention

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(WBNG) -- Despite four crashes involving school vehicles in the last month, law enforcement and school officials want you to know they're still the safest option.

School buses have built-in safety features normal vehicles don't such as stop arm cameras and reinforced exteriors, but even still crashes are better avoided in the first place.

The Broome County Sheriff's Office says drivers who pass a school bus with their stop lights on can face steep penalties, such as five points on your license and a heavy fine.

Police say the most common causes of school bus crashes are distracted drivers or bad weather conditions.

Chenango Valley Superintendent Dr. David Gill said it always surprises him when people don't pay enough attention to school buses.

"Bus safety to me is such a simple area. It amazes me when I see something happen, again passing school buses or not paying attention," Gill said Friday. "When you see something yellow, you need to be cautious and slow down and know what's happening."

Superintendent Gill said right now, about half of the district's buses have stop arm cameras, and the district is working on increasing that number to 100 percent.

Despite the increases in crashes lately, the Broome County Sheriff's Office says you are seventy times more likely to get to school safely in a school bus than you are a car.

Josh Rosenblatt

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