AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — A new school year across Northeast Ohio is just days away, and school bus drivers are reminding drivers of the need to share the road and the consequences of passing violations.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation recently revealed the results of its 2023 survey on illegal passing of stopped school buses and the numbers are staggering.

In the survey, 94,581 school bus drivers reported that 62,482 vehicles passed their buses illegally on a single day during the 2022-2023 school year.

The association calculates that amounts to more than 43.5 million violations per year among America’s motoring public.

That was up from 41.8 million the year before.

The survey was among drivers in 33 states throughout the country with approximately 25.8% percent of the nation’s school bus drivers participating.

The Akron Public School year officially begins on Aug. 24, although the I-Promise school is already in session and there are school activities for which buses transport students throughout the year.

“Our number one goal here as a transportation department is to get kids to and from school safely and the drivers do everything they can but we also need the public’s help to be vigilant and paying attention while they are out there to make sure that can happen,” said Justin Miller, the district’s transportation coordinator.

Buses in school districts across the region have cameras to capture the images of cars and drivers who violate the passing laws.

And on Thursday, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office issued a reminder:

“If you are on a road with any less than FOUR lanes (regardless if you are behind the bus, approaching it, or on the opposite side of the road) you must STOP and remain stopped until the flashing lights and stop sign on the bus are turned off. Drivers who fail to stop for a school bus could face fines of $500 or more, have two points added to their license, or have their license suspended for up to a year.

Even if a member of law enforcement wasn’t there to witness the infraction, you can still receive a citation. Many school buses have on-board cameras, and we do issue citations from camera footage and eye-witness statements.

Most importantly, try to remember the safety of the students and staff members that are aboard these buses. The consequences of a few seconds of impatience could change lives, including your own.”

“When a bus driver sees a car going through the reds we do the best we can to get that driver’s license, the license plate number and a description of the driver and then we turn that over to Akron Police department, and they issue the citations,” said Miller.

But Miller also emphasized that the priority should not be avoiding a fine. For everyone, it should be about the safety of school kids.

“Please be vigilant, obviously we are in a giant yellow vehicle we have flashing lights and stop decals all over, but just pay attention, put the cell phones down and know where everything is at while you are driving,” said Miller.