A new state law allowing safety cameras on school buses will go a long way in protecting of school children, bus drivers and monitors, and the general public.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed the legislation (A.4950B/S.4524B) allowing, at local option, for the use of school bus safety cameras to capture vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses and increase penalties for violators.
Specifically, this legislation creates a five-year demonstration program that allows counties or municipalities to install cameras on school buses, for as long as the local school district supports the installation.
CSEA, which represents thousands of school bus drivers and monitors across the state, strongly supported the legislation.
“We hear from our school bus drivers every day about drivers who illegally pass their stopped buses, putting the children they drive at risk,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “Our bus drivers and monitors are constantly on the watch to protect them, but we can never be too safe. We applaud the members of the State Senate and Assembly for passing this bill, which will give law enforcement a great tool to prosecute people who put our school children at risk.”
Every day, thousands of motorists inexplicably ignore flashing red lights and illegally pass school buses while they are loading and unloading children. One survey estimated that nearly 55,000 drivers passed a stopped school bus on a single day in New York, including nearly 700 cases of drivers passing on the side where students were boarding and exiting. About 2.3 million children in New York State ride school buses regularly.