In a sustained effort to keep schoolchildren safe the NYS Senate has passed legislation co –sponsored by Senator Simcha Felder increasing the penalties for passing a stopped school bus.
A stopped school bus with flashing red lights is discharging or picking up students and by law all traffic must stop and wait while they pass safely. “Drivers who pass school buses put children’s lives at risk and we will do whatever we can to ensure these offenders are stopped and punished in a manner that reflects the severity of the crime,” said Senator Felder.
Those few moments of waiting ensure that our children arrive safely at school and back home again. Nevertheless, on any given school day, thousands of drivers in America illegally pass stopped school buses with red lights flashing and stop sign arms extended, according to a recent national survey.
These two bills (S4193) and (S1064) will deter and punish this reckless and dangerous behavior by raising the fine for passing a school bus to $350 for a first violation, rising to $1,000 with subsequent violations and imposing a 60 day driver’s license suspension if convicted of the offense twice in an 18-month period.
The measures have passed the Senate and are now with the Assembly for consideration. “Children are our most precious resource and we will continue to send the message that their safety is our priority,” said Senator Felder.