2021 GTSC No Empty Chair Campaign

2021 GTSC No Empty Chair Campaign

PJPD to participate in the 2021 GTSC “No Empty Chair” Teen Driving Safety Campaign and Operation Safe Stop!

Each year, thousands of high school students across New State look forward to attending their prom and graduation ceremony.  For parents, siblings, educators and the community, these memorable moments become meaningless when a child dies in a car crash.  

Regrettably, this scenario happens all too often, and law enforcement is tasked with making the difficult “knock on the door”. The “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign raises awareness of highway dangers in the hope there will be no empty chairs during prom and graduation season.

Officers from the Port Jervis City Police Department will be joining police officers across New York State to participate in the 2021 statewide campaign operating from Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23.  In addition to educating students about safe driving, state and local law enforcement will increase patrols near local high schools throughout the state, vigilantly focusing on a different traffic safety threat each day of the week including cell phone use and texting while driving, speeding in school zones, seat belts and child restraints, graduated driver license provisions and underage drinking and impaired driving in the vicinity of schools and roadways commonly traversed by high school students. 

Dedicated overtime enforcement to address this initiative is financed under a 2020-21 Police Traffic Services (PTS) grant obtained through the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. 

As the end of the school year is approaching, police are encouraging parents, guardians and others to please take the time to speak with your teenaged drivers about safe and responsible driving behaviors to help keep our roadways safe. 

The men and women of the Port Jervis Police Department wish our High School Students the best of success in their academic pursuits and a safe and healthy future.  Make smart decisions, don’t drink and drive or get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.  Most importantly, please drive carefully and safe – you have bright futures ahead. 

The target dates for 2021 are as follows:

  • Monday, April 19, 2021 – Speeding in School Zones
  • Tuesday, April 20, 2021 – Seat Belt and Child Restraints
  • Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – Cell Phone Use and Texting
  • Thursday, April 22, 2021 – Operation Safe Stop
  • Friday, April 23, 2021 - Underage Drinking and Impaired Driving

Operation Safe Stop Education and Enforcement Day is Thursday, April 22, 2021

On April 22nd, Officers will partner with the Port Jervis City School District, Quality Bus and law enforcement officers around the state to participate in Operation Safe Stop Day.  During "Safe Stop", police officers will be deployed on selected bus routes that have a history of illegal passing complaints.


Operation Safe Stop seeks to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement efforts. Operation Safe Stop is a cooperative project supported by the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association, the student transportation industry and state, county, city, and local law enforcement agencies.


An estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass New York State school buses every day.


  • It is illegal - and very dangerous - to pass a stopped school bus when the large red lights located on top of the bus are flashing. Flashing lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students.
  • You must stop whether you are approaching the school bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear.
  • You must always stop for flashing red lights, even on divided and multilane highways and on school grounds.
  • The first-time fine for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 to $400 fine, 5 points on your license, and/or possibly 30 days in jail.
  • Worse yet, the memory of hitting or killing a child may be one you carry for the rest of your life! 


Yellow lights mean the bus is going to stop. Slow down! Red lights mean students are getting on or off the bus.  STOP! STOP! STOP!

The goal of Operation Safe Stop is to proactively educate motorists about the dangers of passing stopped school buses.

Please help do your part to keep our children safe. 

For additional information regarding traffic safety, please visit the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee web page at https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/.

Click here to view a flyer.