Governor Cuomo Signs Kaplan Bill Promoting School Bus Safety

Anna M. Kaplan

November 20, 2019

CARLE PLACE, NY (November 20, 2019) – Today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S2960B) promoting awareness of important school bus safety laws through expanded drivers education curriculum and modifications to the exam all New York State drivers must pass to obtain a drivers license. The bill was introduced by Senator Anna M. Kaplan and passed both houses of the legislature earlier this year.

This new law enables drivers to have a greater awareness of the law that prohibits overtaking and passing a stopped school bus by requiring a school bus safety component to the pre-licensing written test given by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and mandates that there be at least one question pertaining to school bus safety. Ensuring that drivers are educated about the rules of the road before being licensed in New York is not only common sense, but is absolutely critical.

Bill sponsor Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “As lawmakers, we have a solemn duty to ensure that we take every step necessary to ensure the safety of the children in our communities. So when we have a  situation where an estimated 40,000 drivers in New York are illegally passing school buses each day, we have a crisis on our hands that demands attention. That’s why I’m proud to have passed legislation ensuring that drivers in this state understand the laws on school bus safety, to better protect our kids on their way to and from school, and I’m so grateful to Governor Cuomo for signing it into law.”

“Every day more than 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses, endangering the lives of thousands of children who travel on these buses to and from school each day. This common sense legislation will emphasize the importance of school bus safety awareness by requiring a school bus safety awareness component in the drivers pre-licensing course and by requiring that applicants for a drivers license demonstrate this knowledge on the written exam. This law will save lives,” said bill sponsor Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF – Manhattan).

“Today is big win for school bus safety in New York. Our Association’s leadership has worked on this meaningful piece of legislation since day one with the goal of ensuring that all new drivers in this state fully understand that regardless of whether you are late to get to your destination, it is not worth a child’s life. Slow down, be alert and stop for school buses,” said Corey Muirhead, New York School Bus Contractors Association President. Muirhead went on to say, “I'm extremely grateful to Assembly Member Rosenthal and Senator Kaplan for their hard work to pass this vital legislation and to Governor Cuomo for supporting our shared commitment to student safety by signing this bill into law today.”