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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Greenwich Cops Target School Bus Violators

Drivers who don't stop for school buses are being scrutinized by the Greenwich Police Department, even as snowy weather has caused road issues and limited lines of sight for many drivers.

"We're particularly concerned because of the weather," said Sgt. John Slusarz of the traffic section of the department. "A lot of roads are restricted because snow is in the way. When people get impatient waiting for stopped buses, it gets risky for passengers as well as the driver."

Passing a school bus that is stopped with its flashers on is of particular concern because of the risk to the children on board, said Slusarz. Each officer is assigned a bus route and follows looking for violators, he said.

When the department looks at traffic enforcement, Slusarz said, it does an analysis of crash data to determine hot spots of crashes in town. It then determines how to address each issue and develops each month's Selective Traffic Enforcement Program.

STEP for February will target violations for failing to stop for a school bus. The fine for a first-time violator is $460 and may result in arrest. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $1,000 and imprisoned up to 30 days for each additional violation.

The STEP program is effective, says Slusarz. In January, the program targeted cell phone violations. In that month, officers issued 176 tickets. When the department last targeted schools bus traffic violators, officers wrote dozens of tickets.

"When we started the program, we hit each violator with at least a summons," said Slusarz. "But it duly effective for the person being stopped as well as other drivers who see it happen."

Be part of the conversation: Do you worry about other drivers when you put your child on the school bus in the morning?

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