Gorham police increasing patrols to stop school bus stop violations

GORHAM — The Gorham Police Department will be conducting traffic enforcement patrols over the next few weeks specifically targeting vehicles not stopping for school buses.

N.H. RSA 265:54 states: “The driver of a vehicle upon a way upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus, plainly marked with school bus signs or such other distinguishing identification as the director may require, which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children shall stop his or her vehicle before reaching such school bus at least 25 feet away from such school bus. The driver shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until flashing red lights cease to operate.”

The enforcement effort is in response to the rising number of complaints the department has received from school bus drivers with a majority of the complaints concerning infractions on the Berlin-Gorham Road.

Despite being a four-lane highway, with a center turning lane, both directions of travel must stop when a bus has stopped to pick up children and may not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights cease to operate.

Drivers who violate this law shall be guilty of a violation and fined up to $750 for a first offense and $1,000 for a subsequent offense. A 30-day license suspension may also be imposed for subsequent offenses.

Police officers will have a zero-tolerance directive with tickets being issued to violators.