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From the desk of Senator Kemp Hannon: February 23, 2012

Senator Kemp Hannon reports the New York State Senate has passed a trio of school bus bills, which will protect child safety and enhance communication.

Senate bill 3099A increases the penalties for passing a stopped school bus. The legislation would impose a 60-day suspension of a driver’s license if convicted of passing a stopped school bus two or more times. This legislation would make the penalties for passing a stopped school bus multiple times the same as penalties for drivers convicted of speeding in a construction zone two or more times.

A second bill, S.2371, will give school districts the option to put their website on their school buses. Currently, school districts are only permitted to affix their phone numbers on the rear of the school bus, but with advancements in technology and communication, some school districts have created websites, which have become an increasingly important tool for communication.

The third piece of legislation, S.4488, relates to “school bus” signs. Currently, school bus signs are required to be illuminated, but this legislation would allow for the signs to be constructed with reflectorized materials. The bill is intended as a cost-saving measure while still supplying the necessary safety precautions.

“I am pleased to have supported these school bus safety bills,” said Senator Hannon. “All told, these bills, if passed by the Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, will make riding school buses safer for students, allow greater communications between school districts and the communities they serve, and provide school districts with an important cost-saving measure that will not in any way compromise safety.”

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.