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Officials: New tech increases need for Operation Safe Stop initiative

By JOLEEN FERRIS

Operation Safe Stop is now in its 20th year.

Every year on this day, police target drivers who pass stopped school buses; a five-point violation on your license, as well as an action that could endanger children.

Every year on this day, in spite of efforts to raise awareness and educate the public, authorities say there are violators.

Those involved in the program say increasingly available technology is part of the problem, because it contributes to distracted driving.

"I think as more technology comes out with the cell phones and technology in cars, with the GPS and stuff, everybody is always involved in looking down on their cell phones or texting or always in a hurry, too," said Mike Klenotiz, New York Mills School Transportation Director.

During Operation Safe Stop on Thursday morning, authorities said a car actually rear-ended a school bus.

Many other drivers were ticketed for passing stopped buses with red lights flashing.

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