New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation that funds bus driver safety training and motorist education using a portion of fines issued for illegally passing school buses.
The new law aims to discourage motorists from endangering children by passing stopped school buses as students are boarding or disembarking.
“Keeping our children safe is priority number one for my administration and we are taking steps on every front to ensure we do just that,” Hochul said. “Drivers should know better than to pass a stopped school bus, but we see this issue time and time again. I am proud to sign this legislation that boosts training for school bus drivers and further protects children traveling to and from school.”
The legislation calls for the design and implementation of a public education program to educate motorists on the dangers of passing a school bus and to promote bus safety. It also creates a School Bus Motorist Education Fund, and directs surcharges imposed for passing a stopped school bus be paid into this fund to use in grants for the study of the issue, the development of proposals to reduce violations, and to promote safety.
State Sen. Kevin Parker praised Hochul for putting students first: “The safety of our students is a priority from the moment they enter the school bus to commute to school. This law will work to not only discourage motorists from illegally passing stopped school buses but takes a further approach to fund training for our drivers who get our children to and from school every day.”
William Magnarelli, a member of the State Assembly, noted that illegal passing of school buses remains a serious problem in the state of New York.
“This legislation will work in conjunction with the new law allowing for photo enforcement of illegal passing to help educate drivers against this dangerous behavior,” Magnarelli said.