ALBANY — State legislators recently passed a bill that would establish a statewide demonstration program to allow for the use of school bus safety cameras to capture vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses and establish penalties for drivers that do so.
At press time, the bill (A.4950B/S.4524B) was awaiting delivery to the governor, who must sign the legislation for it to become law.
CSEA, which represents thousands of school bus drivers and monitors across the state, strongly supports 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 stopped school buses on a single day in New York, including nearly 700 cases of drivers passing on the side where students were boarding and exiting. This blatant disregard for student safety can result in the worst thing imaginable — the death of a child.
This is a common-sense proposal that will have an outsized impact on the safety of school children, bus drivers and monitors, and the general public.
CSEA is closely monitoring the status of the legislation. Watch cseany.org or future editions for updates.