The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would increase the fines for passing a stopped school bus. The bill (S.1064), sponsored by Senator George Maziarz, also requires criminal penalties for drivers who injure or kill a person by doing so.
“On average, 36 children a year die because of pedestrian accidents and injuries caused when a motorist illegally passes a stopped school bus," said Senator Maziarz. "These statistics and others are a clear demonstration that strengthening the penalties for these accidents is a necessity. This legislation will not only help deter drivers from committing these acts, but it will go a long way in ensuring the safety of children."
The bill significantly increases the fines for passing a school bus. The maximum fine for a first offense would increase from $400 to $700. The maximum fine for a second offense would be $1,500.
This legislation also requires that if a driver injures someone while passing a school bus, the driver would be charged with aggravated vehicular assault. The charge would be criminally negligent homicide if the person is killed in the incident.
More than 40 percent of school bus-related fatalities include pedestrians. These increased penalties are intended to further deter drivers from passing stopped buses.
This bill has been sent to the Assembly.