Substitute teacher slapped with nearly $1,000 in fines for passing school buses
Published 1:05 am, Thursday, March 4, 2010
Police issued the infraction Rina Giordano, 53, of New Canaan last Friday for the back-to-back violations, which were captured on video by a camera attached to the buses she passed, according to police.
Giordano allegedly passed the two stopped school buses illegally, which were lined front-to-back in a row, in a single driving maneuver, according to Capt. Leon Krolikowski.
According to the NCPS Human Resource Department, Giordano is a substitute teacher in the school system.
Krolikowski said the 42-day lapse between the violation and the infraction issuance was used to collect written reports about the incident from the drivers of each bus and the school transportation director.
Last December, the New Canaan Police Department launched Operation Safe School Bus Stop in an effort to increase compliance of the law that punishes motorists for passing stopped school buses. The campaign involves the stationing of officers on school buses and in unmarked vehicles traveling behind buses.
This incident marks the first occasion that New Canaan police have charged a person with two back-to-back violations since they launched Operation Safe School Bus stop more than two months ago, according to Krolikowski.
According to Superintendent Dr. David Abbey, the school spearheaded the effort to bolster better enforcement of these violations in New Canaan and considers them a "serious" infraction.
"The most important thing we do is ensure the safety of our students and if someone is going to violate that, we will follow up and look into taking action here, if necessary, on an individual basis," Abbey said.
It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that has its red warning lights activated. When these lights are flashing, motorists must stop their vehicle at least 10 feet from the front of the bus and at least 10 feet from the rear of the bus. Flashing yellow lights on a school bus should be treated as a yellow traffic signal, which warns drivers to prepare to stop.