RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph Township Schools in partnership with the Randolph Township Police Department have developed several initiatives to decrease the number of motorists passing stopped school buses. Traditional police measures have been deployed to include following school buses in unmarked police vehicles while the district has also begun equipping school buses with high definition cameras. Since the program’s inception, 38 bus cameras have been installed with 15 slated to be installed in the near future. These high definition cameras have been able to capture vehicles passing stopped school buses along with the violator’s vehicle registration information. As a result, motor vehicle summonses have been pursued requiring violators to appear before the Randolph Municipal Court judge.
Many of the violations are occurring on West Hanover Avenue and Center Grove Road. Residents are advised that although Center Grove Road is a 4 lane highway, all lanes of traffic are required to stop for buses. Since September, 37 violations have been reported to the Randolph Township Police Department. This is a serious violation which carries 5 points, a minimum of $100 in fines, and a possibility of up to 15 days in jail or 15 days of community service along with the potential for license revocation. New Jersey State Statute 39:4-128.1 states that motorists shall stop their vehicle not less than 25 feet from the stopped school bus. Furthermore, the motorist shall stay stopped until such a time that all of the children have entered the bus and the red stop lights are no longer exhibited by the bus.
Of the 37 violations, a total of 7 were Randolph residents. While the district and the police department have taken every precaution to prevent these motorist violations and educate the local community about the consequences, motorists visiting from out of town may not be informed of the district’s accountability initiatives. The district accounts for this gap by providing driver training and bus safety instruction for all students. Every student is required to wait for the bus driver’s signal for permission to cross the street. While all students are well-informed, we ask that parents of children utilizing district transportation reinforce the importance of waiting for that signal prior to crossing.
We all have a tremendous responsibility to help ensure the safety of children, and we are asking everyone to pay attention to their surroundings while stopping for all school buses. We will continue to work collaboratively to ensure that every child is safe.