A California bill would require school buses to have a device designed to prompt drivers to walk to the back to check for students. Photo by Bill McChesney

A California bill would require school buses to have a device designed to prompt drivers to walk to the back to check for students. Photo by Bill McChesney

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — School buses in California would have to be equipped with child-check reminder alarm systems under a bill filed on Tuesday.

The type of device specified in the bill is designed to prompt school bus drivers to walk to the back of the bus after a run to make sure that no students are left behind.

State Sen. Tony Mendoza, who introduced SB 1072, said that the legislation was spurred by the death of an autistic student who was left on a school bus in Whittier, California, in September.

“No parent should fear that their child will not return home safely at the end of the day,” Mendoza said. “My hope is that SB 1072 will prevent future tragedies by requiring every school bus in the state to be equipped with a child-safety alarm system.”

Under the legislation, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) would issue rules for installation and would provide a list of child-safety alarms that are approved for use in school buses. School districts and school bus contractors would be given a grace period of three months after the date that the CHP issues the rules to install the devices.

SB 1072 would impose a penalty for a driver, district or contractor who knowingly permits a child to be transported in a school bus that doesn’t have a functioning child-check reminder system.

The bill would also require training in child-check procedures as part of school bus drivers’ annual certificate renewal.

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