February 2, 2023 |

In Saratoga, repeated incidents of careless driving around school buses have risen to a level of concern with the police department. After repeated incidents of people driving past buses that were stopped to load or unload school children, Chief Mike Morris has issued the town a warning: “Keep the kids safe or get a ticket.”

The Saratoga Police Department posted a statement on social media reminding motorists it is illegal to pass a school bus with flashing red lights. Saratoga Police Chief Mike Morris said confusion exists with some drivers over whether they have to wait for the Saratoga Elementary School buses to finish loading before passing or not.

Pictured above: File photo of a school bus.

Since construction work began on the Spring Avenue last year, access to the north side of the school has been blocked. The contractors were supposed to finish construction before school began last fall, which would have allowing bus loading and unloading in the front parking lot continue without disruption.

With the project still under way, school officials moved the exits to West Elm Avenue. School buses line up along the south side of the elementary school each afternoon, sometimes stopping traffic, and causing people to question the legality of driving past. Chief Morris said he has confirmed that drivers are required to stop and wait for the buses.

Chief Morris said the problem isn’t confined to the elementary school, but it is the primary area of concern. He said people have also reported seeing illegal school bus passing in other parts of town. The chief said people must stop for the school buses.

Chief Morris said loading the school bus at the school takes about four minutes in the specially designated zone along Elm Avenue. He said drivers can avoid the area all together. Chief Moore said the social media posts are a warning. If people continue to disregard the law and put the children in danger, citations will be written.

Chief Morris said he believes people are simply confused by the new school loading location. The Saratoga Police Department’s campaign is to remind people to pay attention to the flashing red lights and yield to the buses.

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