New York School Bus Contractors Association Kicks Off National School Bus Safety Week

LATHAM, N.Y. — The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA), whose members transport nearly 60 percent of the 2.7 million children riding a yellow school bus in New York state each day, is supporting National School Bus Safety Week. The annual event promotes school bus safety nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 21-25, 2019) is “My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!” NYSBCA is using the occasion to urge Governor Cuomo to sign a key piece of legislation into law that has been spearheaded by NYSBCA—the school bus safety awareness bill.

The school bus safety awareness bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Rosenthal (AB 605A) and Senator Kaplan (SB2960B), passed both houses during the 2019 legislative session. NYSBCA applauds Assemblywoman Rosenthal and Senator Kaplan for their dedication and hard work in passing this important bill that will not only deter motorists from passing stopped school buses, which is happening at alarming rates, but will undoubtedly save lives.

Passing a stopped school bus is a serious violation of the vehicle and traffic law, since it places the most vulnerable members of society, our children, in grave danger. If signed into law, this legislation will ensure that drivers have a greater awareness of the law that prohibits overtaking and passing a stopped school bus. The proposed law includes a school bus safety component in the driver’s education curriculum and at least one question on school bus safety in the DMV pre-licensing written exam.

“Adding a school bus safety awareness component to the state’s driver’s education curriculum and pre-licensing exam will help ensure the safety of students statewide,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Students should not be put in danger when going to school and back home every day, but all too often drivers recklessly pass stopped buses. Once my bill is signed into law, this common-sense legislation will emphasize the importance of school bus safety awareness to new drivers and help to save lives.”

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.”

“Even though school buses are, by far, the safest way for a child to get to and from school every day, there is always more that can be done to make that ride even safer. Protecting our children as they travel to and from school should be just as high a priority as protecting them while at school. By ensuring that drivers are taught from the very beginning the dangers and illegality of passing a stopped school bus, we are empowering drivers to make safer decisions while on the road,” said the NYSBCA President, Corey Muirhead.

About the New York School Bus Contractors Association

The New York School Bus Contractors Association organization represents over 100 school transportation companies (school bus contractors). The industry transports more than half of all the children who ride a school bus to and from school each day. The association’s primary mission is to promote safe, reliable and cost-effective student transportation services for New York’s schoolchildren. www.nysbca.com