Last week, over a three-day span, Americans were stunned to learn of multiple, tragic deaths and injuries of several young children in four states who were attempting to board or waiting for school buses. At least three of the cases involved reckless drivers who illegally passed the buses that had stopped to pick up the students. In their desire to avoid waiting a few seconds, those drivers caused catastrophe, injury and death.
No parent should have to endure such a loss or even worry that the simple act of taking the bus to school could be so dangerous. Yet, statistics tell us that our children are at risk. Here in New York upwards of 50,000 cars each day illegally pass stopped school buses, endangering countless children in the process.
That is why I have pushed for passage of my bill, the School Bus Camera Safety Act, for several years. This common-sense measure would allow school districts and school bus companies to install automated cameras to detect and capture images of vehicles that pass stopped school buses so that lawbreakers can be ticketed and fined. In states where the technology is already in use, reports indicate that the cameras result in violation declines of between 30 to 50 percent.
The Senate passed this legislation during the 2018 Legislative Session, only to see it die in the Assembly. With the 2019 Session in view, I urge the Assembly’s leadership to join the Senate’s lead in passing this legislation. This horrific spate of tragedies has underscored the magnitude of a problem that puts students at risk every day. Let’s act before another young life is ended.”
Watch Senator Young’s interview with WGRZ in Buffalo on the School Bus Camera Safety Act here.