senate Bill S256

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for all school buses to be equipped with on-board video cameras; for policies and procedures relating to their use; and for financing their installation

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to education
Jan 09, 2013 referred to education

S256 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A24
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add §3624-a, amd §§3621 & 3623-a, Ed L; amd §375, V & T L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S286, A1109
2009-2010: S3151, A8846

S256 - Bill Texts

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Provides for all school buses to be equipped with one or more on-board video monitoring systems, for policies and procedures relating to their use, and for financing their purchase and installation as part of the apportionment of public monies for school transportation expenses.

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BILL NUMBER:S256

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law and the vehicle and traffic
law, in relation to providing for the installation and
use of video monitoring systems on school buses

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 Amends the Education Law by adding a new section 3624-a.
Provides that the Commissioner of Education (in consultation with the
Department of Transportation) shall promulgate regulations requiring
each school bus used to transport students to be equipped with a
video monitoring system. Requires districts to establish policies on
the use of such systems, linking them to the district's code of
conduct and policies on discipline and vehicle operation. Provides
for notification to students and drivers that videotaping may occur
and for storage and review of such videotape by district staff.

Section 2 Amends section 3621 of the Education Law by adding a new
subdivision 13-a.
Defines "school bus video monitoring system."

Section 3 Amends section 3623-a(2)(c) of the Education Law. Includes
the purchase and installation of school bus video monitoring systems
as a proper school district expense.

Section 4 Amends section 375 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law by adding a
new subdivision 21-j.
Authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to adopt any necessary
conforming regulations for the use of school bus video monitoring
systems on school buses.

Section 5 - Effective Date

EXISTING LAW:
None.

JUSTIFICATION:
Due to the increasing number of incidents occurring on our school
buses, including violent activities and actions that endanger
passengers and drivers, there is a need to provide additional
measures to permit behavior on buses to be monitored, evaluated and
responded to on a timely basis. Video monitoring will greatly assist
school districts in providing a clear understanding of conduct in
such cases.

As recently as June, 2012, as school bus monitor in the Town of
Greece, NY was verbally abused and taunted by a group of middle
school students. The episode was captured on a student's cell phone
and made headline news. Once school officials became aware of what
transpired, the police were contacted. The local school district has
taken appropriate disciplinary action against the offenders.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2012: S.286 - Referred to Education/A.1109 - Referred to Education
2011: S.286 - Defeated in Education/A.1109 - Referred to Education
2009-10: S.3151 - Referred to Education/A.8846 Referred to Education
2007-08: S.4069 - Referred to Education
2007-08: S.4157E - Passed Senate/A.3423E - Reported to Ways & Means

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:.
The 120th day after becoming law, provided that the Commissioner of
Education is authorized to promulgate implementing regulations on or
before such a date.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   256

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DIAZ  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Education

AN ACT to amend the education law and the vehicle and  traffic  law,  in
  relation to providing for the installation and use of video monitoring
  systems on school buses

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3624-a
to read as follows:
  S 3624-A. SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS. 1. THE COMMISSIONER, IN
CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION,  SHALL  PROMULGATE
RULES  AND  REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OR TRUSTEES OF
EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE STATE TO PROVIDE FOR THE  INSTALLATION  AND
USE  OF  ONE  OR MORE SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS, AS DEFINED IN
SUBDIVISION THIRTEEN-A OF SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE OF  THIS
ARTICLE,  ON  EVERY  SCHOOL  BUS,  AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF SUCH
SECTION, THAT IS PURCHASED, LEASED,  CONTRACTED  FOR  OR  USED  FOR  THE
TRANSPORTATION  OF ENROLLED PUPILS FOR ANY REASON BY SUCH DISTRICT OR BY
A SCHOOL WITHIN THE DISTRICT. THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  TRANSPORTATION,  IN
CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER,  SHALL  AMEND THE RULES AND REGU-
LATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED  TWENTY-THREE
OF  THIS  ARTICLE, TO REQUIRE THAT EVERY SCHOOL BUS BE EQUIPPED WITH ONE
OR MORE SCHOOL BUS VIDEO  MONITORING  SYSTEMS  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE
REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE-J OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVEN-
TY-FIVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND THIS SECTION.
  2.  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  RULES  AND  REGULATIONS  SHALL REQUIRE SCHOOL
DISTRICTS TO PROMULGATE, COMMUNICATE AND ENFORCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
TO BE FOLLOWED WHEN USING ON-BOARD VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS. SUCH  POLI-
CIES  AND PROCEDURES SHALL INCLUDE AT A MINIMUM, AND SHALL BE CONSISTENT
WITH, THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00624-01-3

S. 256                              2

  A. VIDEO CAMERAS ON SCHOOL BUSES SHALL BE USED ONLY AS AN AID TO MONI-
TOR ON-BOARD ACTIVITIES. THESE  DEVICES  SHALL  NOT  REPLACE  DISCIPLINE
POLICY,  THE  AUTHORITY  OF  THE DRIVER, OR THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SCHOOL
OFFICIALS. THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PUPIL BEHAVIOR  ON  SCHOOL  PROPERTY,
ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER, AS
IT  RELATES  TO  CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSES, AND ALL OTHER SAFE-DRIVING AND
SAFE-RIDING RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF THE  DISTRICT
OR  REQUIRED  BY LAW OR BY THE COMMISSIONER CONSISTENT WITH LAW SHALL BE
ENFORCED ON SCHOOL BUSES WHETHER OR NOT PUPILS ARE BEING TRANSPORTED  ON
SUCH BUSES AT THE TIME CONDUCT BY A SCHOOL BUS DRIVER OR PASSENGER WHILE
ON-BOARD THE BUS IS OBSERVED.
  B.  ALL  PUPILS AND ALL SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS SHALL BE NOTIFIED THAT THEY
ARE SUBJECT TO BEING VIDEOTAPED ON  A  SCHOOL  BUS  AT  ANY  TIME.  SUCH
NOTIFICATION  SHALL BE MADE BY THE SCHOOL TO THE PARENTS OF ALL ENROLLED
PUPILS. PRIOR TO ACTUAL VIDEOTAPING, DRIVERS, PARENTS AND  PUPILS  SHALL
BE  ADVISED  WHAT DRIVER CONDUCT AND WHAT PUPIL CONDUCT IS PROHIBITED BY
THE STATE AND BY THE DISTRICT AND THAT SUCH CONDUCT WILL RESULT IN SPEC-
IFIED DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES AS DEFINED IN THE ESTABLISHED DISCIPLINE
POLICY. ACTUAL VIDEOTAPING SHALL BE BY MEANS OF SIMULTANEOUS  AUDIO  AND
VIDEO RECORDING.
  C.  REGULAR  AND  PERIODIC  NOTIFICATIONS  REGARDING  VIDEOTAPING MUST
OCCUR, ADDRESSING THE PURPOSE AND USE OF VIDEO EQUIPMENT  AND  THE  NEED
FOR  PERSONAL  AWARENESS  OF SAFETY ISSUES. THESE NOTIFICATIONS SHALL BE
MADE TO GUARD AGAINST A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. THE USE OF NEWSLETTERS,
PUPIL HANDOUTS, AND NOTICES POSTED WITHIN THE BUS SHALL CONSTITUTE MEANS
OF FULFILLING THIS REQUIREMENT.
  D. AFTER VIDEOTAPING HAS BEEN CONDUCTED, THE TAPES SHALL BE STORED  IN
A  SECURE  LOCATION  FOR A PERIOD OF TIME DESIGNATED BY DISTRICT POLICY,
EXCEPT THAT A SPECIFIC TAPE MAY BE REMOVED  FROM  STORAGE  FOR  PLAYBACK
WHENEVER IT IS NEEDED IN AN ONGOING LEGAL ACTION OR PROCEEDING.
  E.  THE  BOARD OF EDUCATION OR TRUSTEES OF EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL
DESIGNATE ONE OR MORE PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE  DISTRICT  OR  BY  EVERY
SCHOOL WITHIN THE DISTRICT TO PERIODICALLY REVIEW VIDEOTAPES ON A RANDOM
BASIS  TO  ENSURE  PROPER  DRIVER AND PUPIL CONDUCT. IF NO MISCONDUCT OR
SAFETY-RELATED INCIDENTS ARE REPORTED WITHIN A  PERIOD  DEFINED  BY  THE
POLICY OF THE DISTRICT, THE TAPES MAY BE RECYCLED FOR FUTURE USE. HOWEV-
ER,  IF  MISCONDUCT  OR SAFETY-RELATED INCIDENTS ARE REPORTED, OR IF ANY
SUCH INCIDENT IS VIEWED DURING THE RANDOM SELECTION PROCESS,  THE  TAPES
SHALL  BE STORED UNTIL FINAL RESOLUTION OR UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ANY ADMIN-
ISTRATIVE APPEAL OR LEGAL ACTION OR PROCEEDING IS CONCLUDED.
  S 2. Section 3621 of the education law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
subdivision 13-a to read as follows:
  13-A.  SCHOOL  BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEM. THE TERM "SCHOOL BUS VIDEO
MONITORING SYSTEM" MEANS ONE OR MORE ELECTRONIC DEVICES CONSISTING OF AT
LEAST A VIDEO CAMERA AND  MICROPHONE  AND  VIDEOTAPING  AND  AUDIOTAPING
EQUIPMENT,  INSTALLED  ON  A  SCHOOL  BUS  AND  CAPABLE OF RECORDING THE
CONDUCT AND MOVEMENT OF PERSONS WITHIN THE DRIVER AND PASSENGER COMPART-
MENTS OF THE BUS.
  S 3. Paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 3623-a of  the  education
law,  as  amended by chapter 453 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read
as follows:
  c. The purchase of equipment deemed a proper school district  expense,
including:  (i) the purchase of two-way radios to be used on old and new
school buses, (ii) the purchase of stop-arms, to be used on old and  new
school  buses,  (iii) the purchase and installation of seat safety belts
on school buses in accordance with the provisions of section  thirty-six

S. 256                              3

hundred  thirty-five-a  of this article, (iv) the purchase of school bus
back up beepers, (v) the purchase of school  bus  front  crossing  arms,
(vi)  the  purchase  of  school  bus  safety  sensor  devices, (vii) THE
PURCHASE  AND  INSTALLATION  OF  SCHOOL  BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS ON
SCHOOL BUSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  PROVISIONS  OF  SECTION  THIRTY-SIX
HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR-A OF THIS ARTICLE, (VIII) the purchase and installa-
tion  of  exterior reflective marking on school buses, [(viii)] (IX) the
purchase of automatic engine fire extinguishing systems for school buses
used to transport students who use wheelchairs or other assistive mobil-
ity  devices,  and  [(ix)]  (X)  the  purchase  of  other  equipment  as
prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner; and
  S 4. Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 21-j to read as follows:
  21-J.  THE  COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE COMMISSIONER OF
TRANSPORTATION, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR  THE  USE  OF
SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS ON SCHOOL BUSES.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly,  the  addition,  amendment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations
necessary for the implementation of the foregoing sections of  this  act
on  the effective date of this act is authorized and directed to be made
and completed on or before such effective date.

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