ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – New York State Police and schools in the Twin Tiers are reminding drivers to be cautious around school buses.

Operation Safe Stop is an initiative to reduce accidents and fatalities with students in and around school buses. The operation is part of the No Empty Chair campaign, which ensures that every student makes it to graduation.

“While approaching a school bus and seeing the yellow lights, that’s your indicator to slow down and prepare to stop”, Trevor Field, New York State Trooper, said. “Stop at least 20 feet from the school bus. No matter what direction you are coming from.”

According to New York State Police, if you do not stop there are multiple fines and penalties.

“If you get stopped once, that’s five points on your license and $250 to $400 in fines, and up to 30 days in jail,” Field, continues. “If you get convicted a second time in three years, it’s between $407 to $750 or 180 days in jail.”