School buses are one of the safest ways for a child to travel to and from school. Children who ride school buses are 70% more likely to arrive to and from school safely than children who ride in cars. The majority of accidents that strike students occur when getting on or off of the bus. This is usually due to drivers disregarding the stop sign, extended safety arm, and flashing red lights. New York State is looking to curb these incidents, as well as securing the safety of backseat passengers, as WRVO reports.
On Wednesday, the New York State Senate passed measures that they say will improve safety on state roads. Some of these improvements include adding cameras to the stop arms of school buses.
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Tim Kennedy, a New York Democrat who is also the chair of the Transportation Committee said that 50,000 drivers a day pass a stopped school bus, despite the stop sign arm. According to Kennedy, these cameras will now make the drivers accountable. The footage will be reviewed and drivers violating this law will be fined $250. The measure would take effect at the start of the next school year in September.
A second measure that was passed would require backseat passengers in vehicles to wear seatbelts. Passengers who are not wearing seatbelts are eight times more likely to be killed or seriously injured if they are involved in an accident. The measure would fine both the driver of the vehicle and the passenger if the passenger is over 16 years of age.
Another measure would update driver’s education materials and road tests to train new drivers to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists in the streets.