Assemblymember Wallace: Legislation Will Make Roads Safer for Children

Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that the state Assembly passed legislation this week to prevent motorists from passing school buses that are picking up or dropping off children (A.4950A).

“Parents across New York rely on school buses to safely transport their children to and from school,” said Assemblymember Wallace. “Although it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing, too many people have ignored that mandate, which has resulted in tragic consequences. There is simply no excuse for putting children’s lives at risk simply to arrive at your destination a few minutes sooner.”

Under current law, a ticket for illegally passing a stopped school bus displaying a red visual signal can be issued only by a police officer who witnesses the violation. This bill provides for additional enforcement options by allowing mobile cameras mounted on school buses, as well as stationary cameras, to capture motorists illegally passing stopped buses, which could then be used by local governments to impose liability on the owners of the motor vehicles.

“An estimated 50,000 vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses every day in New York,[i] underscoring the need to act. This legislation will greatly reduce that number as more drivers learn that the risk of injuring or killing a child is not worth the few seconds they’re trying to save on their commute,” concluded Wallace.