Requires monitoring systems on school buses in the city of New York; requires retrofitting, notification and record keeping.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the education law, in relation to electronic monitoring equipment on school buses in the city of New York
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law by inserting a new subdivision 21(j) to require that every new school bus purchased for transportation of seven or more passengers in New York City on or after September first, two thousand eleven, be equipped with a school bus electronic monitoring system, by which is meant one or more electronic devices capable of recording the speed, sound, conduct and movement of persons within the driver and passenger compartments of the bus. Such system may also include one or more devices designed to simulate the appearance of an operable video camera or other device. Every existing bus would have to meet the requirements by 2018.
Section 2 amends the education law by adding new section 3624, to require the Education Commissioner in consultation with the commissioner of DOT and DMV to promulgate regulations concerning the equipping, placement, installation, and use of school bus electronic monitoring systems in school buses in New York City, consistent with the following:
1. All New York City school buses shall be equipped with school bus electronic monitoring systems, that will accomplish the purpose in the most effective and least costly manner.
2. All new buses shall be equipped by September first, 2015.
3. All buses in service shall be equipped by September 1, 2018 (i.e., will be given a three-year transition window).
4. The district is to conduct a demonstration program in September 1, 2013-September 1, 2014, involving 5% of buses in service to determine the most effective and least costly means of accomplishing the goal, and report to the commissioner, the governor and the legislature on the demonstration program.
5. The system is to be used only as an aid to monitor on-board activities.
6. Records must be stored in a secure location for a period of time designated by the commissioner, but not for less than go days, unless there is a report of an incident, in which case the records shall be kept for a period determined by the commissioner.
7. The records are to be reviewed only by designated personnel pursuant to an incident report and on a regular basis using random selection criteria, in order to ensure proper driver and pupil conduct.
8. The commissioner is authorized to waive any provision of the system with respect to the district on a determination that the requirement is impracticable, or financially or physically burdensome and ineffective, or if the district proposes and the commissioner accepts an alternate means of achieving the goal.
9. All pupils and all school bus drivers are to be notified by signs and any other means prescribed by the commissioner that they are subject to being videotaped on a school bus at any time, and parents are to be notified. Drivers, parents and pupils shall be advised what driver conduct and what pupil conduct is prohibited by the state and by the district and that such conduct will result in specified disciplinary consequences as defined in the established discipline policy.
10. At least twice each school year notifications regarding electronic monitoring must occur, addressing the purpose and use of electronic equipment and the need for personal awareness of safety issues, through newsletters, pupil handouts, and notices posted within the bus, etc.
11. Records are to remain confidential and shall be used only for the purpose of disciplinary and enforcement proceedings.
Section 3 amends paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 3623-a of the education law, to allow the equipping of school buses to be State aidable.
This legislation is the result of a series of shocking revelations uncovered by the New York Daily News of sex abuse and violence taking place on school buses. In 2006, 55,000 school buses transported 2.3 million children daily in New York State. School buses carry the world's most precious cargo, and we need to ensure that they provide a safe and secure environment for our kids. New Yorkers place more than 2 million children on the school bus each morning, and everyone of these kids should be able to arrive safely at their destination. By placing cameras on buses and requiring background checks for school bus attendants, we can help keep our kids safe and provide parents across the State with greater peace of mind. When a parent places their child on a school bus each morning, they should be secure in the knowledge that their child will return home safely and free from harm.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2007-08: S.4157E - Referred to Transportation, Local Fiscal Impact Note, passed Senate 2009-10: S.2583 - Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 130 days after it becomes law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1745--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 12, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation -- recom- mitted to the Committee on Transportation in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the education law, in relation to electronic monitoring equipment on school buses in the city of New York THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 21-j to read as follows: 21-J. EVERY NEW SCHOOL BUS USED TO TRANSPORT SEVEN OR MORE CHILDREN IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE SHALL BE EQUIPPED WITH A SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEM ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, AND EVERY SCHOOL BUS IN SERVICE FOR SUCH TRANSPORT SHALL BE SO EQUIPPED NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND EIGH- TEEN, PURSUANT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONERS OF TRANSPORTATION AND EDUCA- TION. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "SCHOOL BUS ELEC- TRONIC MONITORING SYSTEM" MEANS ONE OR MORE ELECTRONIC DEVICES CAPABLE OF RECORDING THE SPEED, SOUND, CONDUCT AND MOVEMENT OF PERSONS WITHIN THE DRIVER AND PASSENGER COMPARTMENTS OF THE BUS. SUCH SYSTEM MAY ALSO INCLUDE ONE OR MORE DEVICES DESIGNED TO SIMULATE THE APPEARANCE OF AN OPERABLE VIDEO CAMERA OR OTHER DEVICE. S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3624-a to read as follows: S 3624-A. SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEMS. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION AND THE COMMIS- SIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES, SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE EQUIPPING, PLACEMENT, INSTALLATION, AND USE OF SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONICEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05061-02-2 S. 1745--A 2
MONITORING SYSTEMS IN SCHOOL BUSES AS REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE-J OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEM" MEANS ONE OR MORE ELECTRONIC DEVICES CAPA- BLE OF RECORDING THE SPEED, SOUND, CONDUCT AND MOVEMENT OF PERSONS WITH- IN THE DRIVER AND PASSENGER COMPARTMENTS OF THE BUS. SUCH SYSTEM MAY ALSO INCLUDE ONE OR MORE DEVICES DESIGNED TO SIMULATE THE APPEARANCE OF AN OPERABLE VIDEO CAMERA OR OTHER DEVICE. SUCH REGULATIONS SHALL APPLY TO THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK AND SHALL REQUIRE OR BE CONSISTENT WITH THE FOLLOWING: 1. ALL SCHOOL BUSES SHALL BE EQUIPPED WITH SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONI- TORING SYSTEMS, THAT WILL ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THIS SECTION IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND LEAST COSTLY MANNER, AS FOLLOWS: ALL NEW SCHOOL BUSES SHALL BE SO EQUIPPED ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, AND ALL SCHOOL BUSES IN SERVICE FOR SUCH TRANSPORT SHALL BE SO EQUIPPED NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND EIGH- TEEN. 2. ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN, THE DISTRICT SHALL CONDUCT A DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM INVOLVING NO LESS THAN FIVE PERCENT OF EXISTING SCHOOL BUSES WHICH SHALL BE RETROFITTED IN A DEMON- STRATION PROJECT CONDUCTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND LEAST COSTLY MEANS OF ACCOMPLISHING THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THIS SECTION. INSOFAR AS PRACTICABLE, BUSES USED FOR THE DEMON- STRATION PROGRAM SHALL BE SPREAD OVER CONTRACTORS IN THE SAME RATIO AS BUSES OPERATED BY SUCH CONTRACTORS HAVE OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BUSES USED BY THE DISTRICT FOR THE SYSTEM. THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL REPORT ON THE RESULTS OF THE PLAN BY SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN TO THE COMMISSIONER, THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE. 3. SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEMS ON SCHOOL BUSES SHALL BE USED ONLY AS AN AID TO MONITOR ON-BOARD ACTIVITIES. 4. RECORDS CREATED BY THE SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEMS SHALL BE STORED IN A SECURE LOCATION FOR A PERIOD OF TIME DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSIONER, BUT NOT FOR A PERIOD LESS THAN NINETY DAYS, UNLESS THERE IS A REPORT OF AN INCIDENT, IN WHICH CASE THE RECORDS PERTAINING TO SUCH INCIDENT SHALL BE KEPT FOR A PERIOD TO BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER. 5. SUCH RECORDS SHALL BE REVIEWED BY DESIGNATED PERSONNEL PURSUANT TO AN INCIDENT REPORT AND ON A REGULAR BASIS USING RANDOM SELECTION CRITE- RIA, IN ORDER TO ENSURE PROPER DRIVER AND PUPIL CONDUCT. 6. ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION OR OF SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE-J OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW NOTWITHSTANDING, THE COMMISSIONER IS AUTHORIZED TO WAIVE ANY PROVISION OF THE SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEM REQUIREMENT ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SUCH SUBDIVISION WITH RESPECT TO THE DISTRICT IF THE COMMIS- SIONER DETERMINES THAT THE REQUIREMENT IS IMPRACTICABLE, OR THAT IT IS FINANCIALLY OR PHYSICALLY BURDENSOME AND INEFFECTIVE WITH RESPECT TO THE GOAL, OR IF THE DISTRICT PROPOSES AND THE COMMISSIONER ACCEPTS AN ALTER- NATE MEANS OF ACHIEVING THE SAME GOAL. 7. ALL PUPILS AND ALL SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS SHALL BE NOTIFIED BY MEANS OF SIGNAGE AND BY ANY OTHER MEANS PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSIONER THAT THEY ARE SUBJECT TO BEING VIDEOTAPED ON A SCHOOL BUS AT ANY TIME. SUCH NOTIFICATION SHALL BE MADE BY THE SCHOOL TO THE PARENTS OF PUPILS. DRIVERS, PARENTS AND PUPILS SHALL BE ADVISED WHAT DRIVER CONDUCT AND WHAT PUPIL CONDUCT IS PROHIBITED BY THE STATE AND BY THE DISTRICT AND THAT SUCH CONDUCT WILL RESULT IN SPECIFIED DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES AS DEFINED IN THE ESTABLISHED DISCIPLINE POLICY.S. 1745--A 3
8. NOT LESS THAN TWICE EACH SCHOOL YEAR NOTIFICATIONS REGARDING ELEC- TRONIC MONITORING MUST OCCUR, ADDRESSING THE PURPOSE AND USE OF ELEC- TRONIC EQUIPMENT AND THE NEED FOR PERSONAL AWARENESS OF SAFETY ISSUES. THE USE OF NEWSLETTERS, PUPIL HANDOUTS, AND NOTICES POSTED WITHIN THE BUS MAY CONSTITUTE MEANS OF FULFILLING THIS REQUIREMENT. 9. RECORDS UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISCIPLINARY AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS. S 3. Paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 3623-a of the education law, as amended by chapter 453 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: c. The purchase of equipment deemed a proper school district expense, including: (i) the purchase of two-way radios to be used on old and new school buses, (ii) the purchase of stop-arms, to be used on old and new school buses, (iii) the purchase and installation of seat safety belts on school buses in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-six hundred thirty-five-a of this article, (iv) the purchase of school bus back up beepers, (v) the purchase of school bus front crossing arms, (vi) the purchase of school bus safety sensor devices, (vii) THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF SCHOOL BUS ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEMS ON SCHOOL BUSES AND BACKUP AND STORAGE SYSTEMS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN RECORDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWENTY- FOUR-A OF THIS PART, (VIII) the purchase and installation of exterior reflective marking on school buses,
[(viii)](IX) the purchase of auto- matic engine fire extinguishing systems for school buses used to trans- port students who use wheelchairs or other assistive mobility devices, and [(ix)](X) the purchase of other equipment as prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner; and S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.