Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) is calling on the state Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead and pass legislation to improve safety around school buses.
The Assembly recently approved a bill (A. 458) that directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to create a safety training program to educate motorists about the dangers of passing a school bus as well as other important bus safety steps. The program would be funded by the surcharges imposed on drivers who are caught illegally passing school buses.
“School buses handle our most precious cargo and it’s critical that we take steps to ensure their safety. Spreading awareness about this everyday issue will reduce the number of incidents and help keep our children safe,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.
Antonio Civitella, president and CEO of Transfinder Corp., a leader in school bus routing software, said motorists are illegally passing school buses at an alarming rate. He said he supports efforts to make student transportation safer.
“Schools are doing everything they can to make their students safe, whether it is adding technology like stop arms and cameras or altering bus routes and bus stops,” Civitella said. “It is imperative that we do all that we can to make our children’s transportation to and from school safe and stop careless drivers from putting children at risk.”
A survey by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation noted that 50,000 motorists illegally pass school buses each day. Cars passing a bus illegally are likely to hit a student or another vehicle, causing serious injuries or even deaths.