MIDDLE ISLAND - Police in Suffolk County issued more than 150 tickets today to motorists who passed stopped school buses as part of "Operation Safe Stop."

Carli Tagliamonte, 9, says she was almost hit by a car as she was getting off a school bus in Middle Island because the driver, who was talking on a cell phone, didn't stop in time.

"No child should have to worry that they'll be taken out by a moving car when they step off their school bus," says Peter Mannella, of the New York Association of Pupil Transportation.

Police say it's a serious problem since 2.3 million children ride on 50,000 school buses in New York State each day. Last year, 1,200 tickets were issued to drivers who passed a school bus.

Failing to stop before a school bus comes with a $250 ticket and five points on the license.