New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Transportation Committee Chairman William Magnarelli announced the passage of a measure to install safety cameras on school buses to monitor overtaking and passing violations (A.4950A, Magnarelli).
“Ensuring the safety of New York children is among our highest priorities,” Heastie said. “This legislation will give municipalities the ability to better monitor drivers’ dangerous and illegal behavior to protect children as they get to and from school.”
Magnarelli added, “Too often, drivers disregard laws that are intended to protect children while they are boarding and exiting school buses. This legislation will serve as a deterrent to drivers from passing stopped school buses, and ultimately save students’ lives.”
Legislation passed Tuesday by the Assembly would authorize municipalities to equip vehicles with safety cameras capable of capturing footage of vehicles that illegally pass school buses displaying red visual signals intended to remind drivers to stop while students board or exit the bus.
In 2013, it was estimated there were 64,000 illegal school bus passes in a single day in New York. Under current law, a ticket for illegally passing a stopped school bus displaying a red visual signal can only be issued by a police officer who witnesses the violation. This bill provides for additional enforcement options by authorizing local governments to impose liability for the failure of drivers to comply with the law prohibiting the overtaking and passing of stopped school buses displaying red visual signals.