In 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his annual State of the State address where he talked about a wide range of economical, educational and ecological problems.
The biggest problem is still the safety on New York roads. In the report for the year 2017 it is stated that over 1000 people received penalties for breaking traffic rules during Operation Safe Stop in April 2017.
It is forbidden in New York to bypass a school bus if it has made a stop for passengers’ loading or unloading and if its red lights are blinking. This law is applicable to vehicles that come close both to the front and back part of a bus. This law works even when the bus stops at a multi-lane motorway.
According to current legislation of the state, the first violation may lead to a fine ranging from 250 to 400 US dollars or up to 30 days of imprisonment. A penalty for repeated violation during the next 3 years is from 600 to 750 US dollars and up to 180 days of imprisonment.
Nevertheless, Cuomo thinks that penalties should be stricter, especially after it turned out last year that many drivers didn’t obey the law. “Extrapolated for 180 days of school, someone passed a stopped school bus 180,000 times a year, endangering the safety of school children,” the governor’s office wrote in the State of the State book.
School buses are the main transportation for many students all over the state. According to the Governor, about 2,3 million children in New York use school buses.
In our next articles we will talk about other amendments and news regarding school buses.
Student, Driver Escape Burning School Bus in New Jersey
A school bus caught fire and became engulfed in flames while on a route to school in New Jersey Tuesday morning, police say.
The bus, which was headed to Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in Mahwah, had just picked up its first student, 11-year-old Rocco Arcese, when Arcese alerted the driver to the smell of smoke.
“I was like, ‘We should get off,” Arcese told News 4.
Flames quickly spread and engulfed the entire bus within minutes, ravaging the entire front of the bus and burning the seats inside.
“I saw burning rubber falling from the bottom, and flames,” Arcese said.
The driver and the boy quickly got off the bus, and responding firefighters knocked out the blaze. No injuries were reported.
As soon as they were safe, Arcese called his mother, who at first didn’t believe him. Then her son’s cool demeanor helped calm her nerves, she said.
“He’s such a calm kid, and I knew he was OK,” Stacy-Perone Arcese, Rocco’s mother, said. “And I was OK ’cause I knew he’d be OK.”
Arcese said it’s not the first time he smelled smoke on a bus. His mother hopes it’s the last.
“I think they all maybe need to be revamped in some way, shape or form,” she said.
The fire is believed to have been caused by a mechanical problem, according to the fire chief.
It wasn’t the only scare involving a school bus across the Tri-State on Tuesday morning. Five elementary age children were taken to a hospital with minor injuries after their mini school bus careened into a house on Long Island. The school bus driver was also hospitalized. The cause of the crash in Amityville was under investigation.
from official BBC website
By Checkey Beckford
NY Senator: Cameras can catch cars illegally passing school buses
A New York state senator wants to use cameras to catch motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
Republican Sen. Catharine Young’s proposal would allow the cameras to be mounted on the stop arm of a bus and record any car that passes when the arm is extended.
Young, from Olean, says the evidence from the cameras could be used to issue tickets to motorists who break the law. She cited studies estimating that drivers around New York state pass school buses thousands of times each day.
She says similar proposals have been introduced in state legislatures around the country as a way to crack down on motorists who put children at risk.
Young and other supporters plan to discuss the legislation at a press conference Tuesday.
School bus safety bills, including targeting illegal passing, move forward in Assembly
A series of bills that advocates say will help improve school safety in New York State passed a key legislative committee on Tuesday.
The Assembly Transportation Committee reported out five bills, moving them to further committees, including one measure that would allow stop arm cameras to be installed on school buses. Members of New York’s Association for Pupil Transportation have been advocating for legislation to, among other things, help law enforcement officials catch drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
“These (bills) have been priorities of the school transportation community and we are pleased to see them advance like this,” Peter Mannella, Executive Director of New York’s Association for Pupil Transportation, said in a statement.
When a bill is reported out by the Assembly committee, that means it passed in that committee. In this instance, they will move to the codes committee for further consideration.
The stop arm camera legislation would be discretionary for school boards to pass a resolution authorizing the cameras to be installed and used on buses. Enforcement of illegally passing school buses has become the focus of a yearly crackdown on drivers on New York’s roads in recent years.
An estimated 54,962 drivers statewide passed a school bus on a single day in March 2017. Nationwide, an estimated 10 million drivers illegally pass stopped school buses each year.
A first-time conviction for illegally passing a school bus could result in fines ranging from $250 to $400, five points on the drivers’ license and potentially 30 days in jail.
Not every incident involves in a ticket issued against the driver, according to police. Sometimes a warning is given.
Another of the bills, which was designed to enhance drug and alcohol testing protocols for school bus drivers, was sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell.
The legislation would increase the number of drivers who are subjected to such testing, as well as increasing the number of hours that must elapse before a driver can operate a school bus.
“School bus drivers are entrusted with transporting students to and from school safely,” Lupardo said in a statement Tuesday.
“Under current law, drivers of smaller buses are not required to be tested for drugs and alcohol,” she said. “By closing this loophole, we’ll make the school commute safer for children and for other motorists on the road. I’m glad this bill has made it out of the Transportation Committee and is one step closer to a vote on the Assembly floor.”
Other bills reported out Tuesday in the Assembly’s Transportation Committee included:
Creation of a fund to promote awareness of school bus safety and particularly increase public understanding about the dangers of illegal passing.
Doubling fines for drivers of large commercial vehicles that pass stopped school buses.
Providing license suspension for multiple convictions of illegally passing stopped school buses. It would impose a 60-day suspension on any motorist who is convicted two or more times of illegally passing a stopped school bus.
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