Driving school

Getting Answers: Back-to-School Driving Safety

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – School is back and that means the buses are back on the roads. However, the question is: what are the rules for sharing the road and what is the penalty for breaking it?

A viewer contacted our newsroom concerned about what he saw on Tuesday morning in Westfield.

He said two different cars kept driving while the bus was stopped with the flashing red stop sign on East Mountain Road. He fears children will 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 begins for many in Western Massachusetts.

In Sturbridge, police are taking part in what they call Operation Yellow Blitz, where officers will watch buses and enforce this traffic law, saying they are taking a ‘zero tolerance approach’. The operation will continue throughout the school year in unmarked and marked cruisers.

Chicopee police told us officers would be on site the first day of school, monitoring bus stops for violators and issuing citations. They said the fine is $205 for the first offense, and it goes up to $1,005 for the second offense and $2,005 for the third.

As for Westfield, we called the police department about viewer concerns and they said their officers would look into the matter Wednesday morning.