As students get ready to head back to school, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is reminding drivers of the legislation he co-sponsored and helped pass to ensure students get to and from school safely by implementing photo monitoring systems on buses and promoting awareness about bus accidents.
Back-to-school is just around the corner, and amid the hustle and bustle of preparing for the year ahead, the last thing parents and children should have to worry about is getting to school safely,” said Santabarbara. “Unfortunately, there are still drivers who illegally pass school buses picking up or dropping off kids. It’s critical that we remind everyone around us of the importance of school safety.”
A bill Santabarbara helped pass allows municipalities to implement a school bus photo violation monitoring system (Ch. 145 of 2019). Previously, drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus displaying a red visual signal could only be issued a ticket by a police officer who witnesses the violation. The new program also allows municipalities to install cameras on school buses as well as stationary cameras and issue fines to drivers who illegally pass. Santabarbara also passed legislation allowing school districts to place a warning sign on buses notifying drivers of these cameras (Ch. 325 of 2021).
Further, Santabarbara passed legislation to establish the School Bus Motorist Education Fund (Ch. 536 of 2021) funded by fines collected from violations of illegally passing a school bus. The funds are allocated to the Comprehensive School Bus Driver Training Council to study the illegal passing of school buses and are also used to design and present public service announcements to educate drivers on the dangers of illegally passing a school bus and promote school bus safety.