The New York state Senate has passed legislation increasing penalties for drivers who pass a stopped school bus.
A stopped school bus with flashing red lights is dropping off or picking up students, and all vehicles must stop and wait until the bus moves on.
Under the new legislation, the fine for passing a school bus is increased to $350 for a first violation, rising to $1,000 with subsequent violations. Drivers convicted of this offense twice in an 18-month period will have their licenses suspended for 60 days.
“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 Sen. Simcha Felder, who co-sponsored the legislation with Sens. Martin Malave Dilan, Timothy M. Kennedy and John J. Bonacic. “Children are our most precious resource and we will continue to send the message that their safety is our priority.”
The legislation passed the Senate overwhelmingly, and is now with the Assembly for consideration.