BOISE, Idaho — A bill that is designed to protect school bus drivers from criminal and civil liability if they come to the aid of a passenger has been signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter.
Senate Bill 1232 amends current law to provide that school bus drivers, while they are acting within the scope of their duties, will not be civilly or criminally liable for reasonably acting to assist a bus passenger whom the driver believes to be in imminent danger of harm or injury.
"District policy has basically established that bus driver[s] shouldn't intervene when something happens on their bus," Penni Cyr, president of the Idaho Education Association, told news outlet KBOI earlier this year."But then if something bad happens, parents will say 'You didn't try to help my child,' and then they're caught between a rock and a hard place because that's kind of what policy says."
KBOI reported at the time that the Idaho Education Association had been working on the bill since the fall, and Cyr went on to say, "It's important that our children feel safe on our buses, and it's important that our bus drivers feel safe to do their job and to help the kids they take care of on their ride to and from school."
The law will take effect on July 1.