Senate Transportation Committee Approves Legislation to Protect School Children

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

January 23, 2012

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, today announced that the Senate’s Transportation Committee has approved legislation that would better protect school children while riding on buses.

“Individuals who have criminally endangered children’s safety should not be given the responsibility of protecting children on a school bus. Keeping these individuals from getting behind the wheel of a school bus, as well as raising penalties for people who repeatedly pass stopped school buses illegally, is a common sense step to protect children from harm,” said Senator Fuschillo.

The legislation approved by the committee would:

* Prohibit the DMV from issuing a commercial driver’s license to operate a school or passenger bus to any registered sex offender. Additionally, individuals holding a commercial driver’s license to operate a school or passenger bus would have their license permanently revoked if they are convicted of a registered sex offense (S4272A- Sen. Marcellino).

* Prohibit drunk drivers convicted of a Leandra’s Law violation from being school bus drivers for a period of five years. Leandra’s Law created felony charges for individuals who drive drunk with a child in the car (S6157- Sen. Bonacic).

* Require a mandatory 60 day license suspension for individuals convicted of passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing two or more times in a ten-year period. This is the same penalty for drivers who are convicted of speeding two or more times in a highway work-zone within a ten year period (S3099A- Sen. Bonacic).

In addition, the committee also approved legislation which would:

* Prohibit individuals who hold a learner’s permit from any mobile telephone use while driving (S948A- Sen. Marcellino).

* Prohibit vehicles from passing through a funeral procession in a way that unreasonably interferes with such procession (S3022- Sen. Huntley).

* Require drivers to complete a vision test, either at the DMV or certified by a physician, physician’s assistant, optometrist, or nurse practitioner, when renewing their driver’s license (S5904- Sen. Lanza).