Getting Answers: back-to-school driving safety

The question is: what are the rules when it comes to sharing the road and what is the penalty for breaking them?
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 10:16 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - School is back in session and that means buses are back on the roads. However, the question is: what are the rules when it comes to sharing the road and what is the penalty for breaking them?

A viewer reached out to our newsroom, concerned over what he saw Tuesday morning in Westfield.

He said that two different cars continued driving by while the bus was stopped with the flashing red stop sign out on East Mountain Road. He is worried children could get hurt if this continues to happen.

Massachusetts law requires drivers on both sides of the road to stop when a bus has flashing lights and an extended stop sign.

We wanted to see how local police departments are handling this situation as the first week of school kicks off for many in western Massachusetts.

In Sturbridge, police officers are participating in what they call Operation Yellow Blitz, where officers will be shadowing buses and will be enforcing this traffic law, saying they are taking a “zero tolerance approach.” The operation will continue throughout the school year in both unmarked and marked cruisers.

Chicopee Police told us officers will be out on the first day of school, monitoring bus stops for violators and issuing citations. They said the fine is $205 for the first offense, and that shoots up to $1,005 for the second offense and $2,005 for the third.

As for Westfield, we called the police department about the viewers’ concerns and they told us their officers will be looking into it first thing Wednesday morning.