Every day parents put their children on the school bus expecting they will be kept safe. But too often, impatient, distracted, and dangerous drivers pass stopped school buses illegally, putting children at serious risk.
Increasingly, school bus drivers are reporting that vehicles are passing their buses when the stop sign is out.
Sometimes the consequences are deadly, which was the case 10 years ago on May 21, 2004, when 8-year-old Mallory Eddy was struck and killed by a driver illegally passing her stopped bus on the passenger side in the Town of Smithfield, New York.
Similar accidents have happened too many times across the state. Too many children continue to be injured by motorists who disobey the law and pass stopped school buses.
Bus drivers can’t be expected to act as law enforcement and get the license plate numbers of passing vehicles when they’re focused on driving and keeping students safe.
This is why Senator Young joined Peter Mannella and Richard Gallagher of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) yesterday to call for passage of her bill that would allow schools to install cameras on school buses, on or near the stop-arm, that can snap a license plate picture of motorists who pass illegally.
Senator Young is hopeful that her bill, S.5028, can be passed in the State Legislature this year to address this major public safety issue. Keeping our innocent children safe and secure should be our highest priority.