Requires that all school buses be equipped with, and use, front crossing arms; applies to any school bus manufactured on or after January 1, 2011.
BILL NUMBER: S23
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to school bus safety equipment
PURPOSE : To require the use of front crossing arms on school buses to improve the safety of children disembarking from school buses.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Adds a new paragraph (m) to subdivision 20 of §375 of the Vehicle and Traffic law to require that all new school busses, purchased or put into service after January 1, 2011, be equipped with front crossing arms meeting standards set by the Commissioner of Transportation.
JUSTIFICATION : New York State is regarded nationally as a leader in school bus safety. Death and injuries have been dramatically reduced over the past decade as the result of extensive bus driver training, compartmentalization of the seats, and the availability of seat belts. However, much remains to be done in this critically important area of highway safety. School bus accidents still occur and childrens' lives are still at risk, particularly in the loading and unloading zones. In a national study conducted on school bus fatalities during the 1998-1999 school year, half of the fatalities were caused by the child's own bus, rather than oncoming or passing motorists. Front crossing arms prevent children from entering the area of greatest risk of danger from a child's own bus. School buses equipped with front crossing arms were found to be 15 times safer than buses without front crossing arms, in a study by a state Department of Transportation of front school bus fatalities. The use of front crossing arms has been widely tested, used and verified as beneficial to the safety of children who ride school buses. In fact, at least 20 states currently mandate that school buses be equipped with front crossing arms.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007-2008 Referred to Transportation (S.1535/A.7866) 2005 Transportation Committee (S.780-B). Similar legislation was introduced in: 2003-2004 Transportation Committee (S.2334). 2002 Rules Committee; 2001 Transportation Committee (S.2375-A/A.9277-A). 1999-2000 Transportation Committee (S.5287).
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 23 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. FUSCHILLO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to school bus safety equipment THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 20 of section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new paragraph (m) to read as follows: (M) EVERY SUCH OMNIBUS MANUFACTURED FOR USE IN THIS STATE ON AND AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN SHALL BE EQUIPPED WITH A SCHOOL BUS FRONT CROSSING ARM CONFORMING TO THE STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE-E OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00923-02-9