N.Y. Gov. Cuomo Signs School Bus Safety Bill

Stop When Red School Bus sign

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the “School Bus Safety” bill into law to draw public awareness to the pre-licensing driver education course in New York.

Senate Bill 2960 amends the vehicle and traffic law and adds a “School Bus Safety” awareness component to persons who are looking to obtain a new driver“s license. It is a mandatory awareness education course that was added to educate prospective licensees on the dangers of passing a stopped school bus.

The section helps to promote school bus safety. The law states that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for establishing a curriculum for the school bus safety component. It will include an overview of traffic laws regarding passing school buses.

The law enables drivers to have a greater awareness of school bus safety and better knowledge of the law that prohibits motorists from passing a stopped school bus. The written driver permit test, which is administered by the DMV, is now required to have at least one question regarding school bus safety.

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The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) thanked Gov. Cuomo for signing the bill into law, in a statement released on Wednesday. The NYSBCA is an organization whose members transport nearly 60 percent of the 2.7 million children who ride a yellow school bus in New York state daily.

“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,” NYSBCA noted after Gov. Cuomo signed the legislation.

SB 2960, sponsored by Sen. Anna Kaplan and Sen. Timothy Kennedy was introduced in April.

“Today is a big win for school bus safety in New York,” said Corey Muirhead, NYSBCA president. “ 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.”