Sen. Young – Statement on New School Bus Law

January 23, 2019

ALBANY, NY – Statement From Senator Cathy Young:

“Many people would be alarmed to learn that the greatest daily hazard to the lives and safety of our children is their walk to and from the school bus. This was brought into heartbreaking focus this past October when we learned of the tragic deaths and injuries of several young children, across four states, who were attempting to board or waiting for school buses. A moment’s carelessness will forever haunt those families and the involved motorists.

New York, like every state in the nation, has a law making it illegal for motorists to pass stopped school buses. Yet, statistics tell us that upwards of 50,000 motorists each day recklessly disregard this law, senselessly putting countless children at risk in the process.

That is why I applaud the news that Governor Cuomo has included in his budget proposal, the measure I’ve championed for many years, authorizing school districts to install stop-arm cameras on school buses. This common-sense technology is able to detect and capture images of vehicles that pass stopped school buses so that lawbreakers can be ticketed and fined. In states where the technology is already in use, reports indicate that the cameras result in violation declines of between 30 to 50 percent.

Last year, this legislation advanced further than ever before, marking its first passage in the Senate. Legislators of both parties voted in favor, 62-0. Despite the momentum behind the bill, it died in the Assembly.

This is a new session and a new opportunity to finally get this law on the books. With the Governor’s support behind this initiative, I am hopeful that 2019 will be the year we act to authorize this lifesaving technology.”