Legislation in New York would expand the list of crimes that prohibit a person from being a school bus driver. Pictured is the State Capitol.
Photo by Matt H. Wade
BOICEVILLE, N.Y. — A state bill to expand the list of crimes that prohibit a person from being a school bus driver stemmed from a director of transportation's letter.
In January, David Moraca of the Onteora Central School District wrote to the editor of local newspaper the Daily Freeman, pointing out that the penal code violations in Section 509 (cc), regarding bus driver disqualifications, had not been updated since 1986.
State Sen. John Bonacic said that the letter by Moraca, who is also a member of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, prompted legislation to update the law.
S3100 was unanimously passed by the Senate on March 7. It was then sent to the Assembly, where it has been referred to the transportation committee.
The bill would add about 26 more crimes for which a conviction would permanently ban a person from being a school bus driver. The crimes range from reckless assault of a child to sexual misconduct to disseminating indecent material to minors (first or second degree).
Bonacic said that without the updates to the law, people convicted of these crimes would be able to pass the required background check and become a school bus driver.
“This legislation is essential to protect students,” Bonacic said. "I commend David Moraca’s efficient dedication to protecting the children in his district. Not only will his competency protect the children in Onteora School District, but all of the children in New York state."