HARTFORD, Conn. — The state House and Senate have passed an extensive transportation bill that would help to get poorly maintained school buses off the road.
The bill would establish rigid fines for school bus companies if they fail to abide by inspection orders issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and impose a penalty of up to $2,500 on operations that transport students and file false statements with the DMV regarding maintenance, repair or use of a school bus. Each false statement would be subject to a separate penalty.
Rep. Tony Guerrera, House chair of the Transportation Committee, said that he was pleased with the Legislature’s passage of the bill.
“We must do everything we can to protect schoolchildren,” Guerrera said. “School bus operators must keep buses in safe operating condition.”
The House and Senate’s approval of this legislation follows the passage of an incentive program to install seat belts in school buses. The program would reimburse towns for 50 percent of whatever they pay in sales tax for new buses equipped with three-point seat belts.
The program would be paid for by increasing the registration fees on suspended driver licenses. The fees would apply to people seeking to reinstate their licenses after offenses like driving under the influence or habitual speeding.