Provides for all school buses to be equipped with one or more on-board video monitoring systems, for policies and procedures relating to their use, and for financing their purchase and installation as part of the apportionment of public monies for school transportation expenses.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to providing for the installation and use of video monitoring systems on school buses
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 Amends the Education Law by adding a new section 3624-a. Provides that the Commissioner of Education (in consultation with the Department of Transportation) shall promulgate regulations requiring each school bus used to transport students to be equipped with a video monitoring system. Requires districts to establish policies on the use of such systems, linking them to the district's code of conduct and policies on discipline and vehicle operation. Provides for notification to students and drivers that videotaping may occur and for storage and review of such videotape by district staff.
Section 2 Amends section 3621 of the Education Law by adding a new subdivision 13-a. Defines "school bus video monitoring system."
Section 3 Amends section 3623-a(2)(c) of the Education Law. Includes the purchase and installation of school bus video monitoring systems as a proper school district expense.
Section 4 Amends section 375 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law by adding a new subdivision 21-j. Authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to adopt any necessary conforming regulations for the use of school bus video monitoring systems on school buses.
Section 5 - Effective Date
EXISTING LAW: None.
JUSTIFICATION: Due to the increasing number of incidents occurring on our school buses, including violent activities and actions that endanger passengers and drivers, there is a need to provide additional measures to permit behavior on buses to be monitored, evaluated and responded to on a timely basis. Video monitoring will greatly assist school districts in providing a clear understanding of conduct in such cases.
As recently as June, 2012, as school bus monitor in the Town of Greece, NY was verbally abused and taunted by a group of middle school students. The episode was captured on a student's cell phone and made headline news. Once school officials became aware of what transpired, the police were contacted. The local school district has taken appropriate disciplinary action against the offenders.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2012: S.286 - Referred to Education/A.1109 - Referred to Education 2011: S.286 - Defeated in Education/A.1109 - Referred to Education 2009-10: S.3151 - Referred to Education/A.8846 Referred to Education 2007-08: S.4069 - Referred to Education 2007-08: S.4157E - Passed Senate/A.3423E - Reported to Ways & Means
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE:. The 120th day after becoming law, provided that the Commissioner of Education is authorized to promulgate implementing regulations on or before such a date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 256 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to providing for the installation and use of video monitoring systems on school buses THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3624-a to read as follows: S 3624-A. SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS. 1. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OR TRUSTEES OF EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE STATE TO PROVIDE FOR THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF ONE OR MORE SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION THIRTEEN-A OF SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE, ON EVERY SCHOOL BUS, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF SUCH SECTION, THAT IS PURCHASED, LEASED, CONTRACTED FOR OR USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF ENROLLED PUPILS FOR ANY REASON BY SUCH DISTRICT OR BY A SCHOOL WITHIN THE DISTRICT. THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER, SHALL AMEND THE RULES AND REGU- LATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, TO REQUIRE THAT EVERY SCHOOL BUS BE EQUIPPED WITH ONE OR MORE SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE-J OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVEN- TY-FIVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND THIS SECTION. 2. THE COMMISSIONER'S RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PROMULGATE, COMMUNICATE AND ENFORCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED WHEN USING ON-BOARD VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS. SUCH POLI- CIES AND PROCEDURES SHALL INCLUDE AT A MINIMUM, AND SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH, THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00624-01-3 S. 256 2
A. VIDEO CAMERAS ON SCHOOL BUSES SHALL BE USED ONLY AS AN AID TO MONI- TOR ON-BOARD ACTIVITIES. THESE DEVICES SHALL NOT REPLACE DISCIPLINE POLICY, THE AUTHORITY OF THE DRIVER, OR THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SCHOOL OFFICIALS. THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PUPIL BEHAVIOR ON SCHOOL PROPERTY, ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER, AS IT RELATES TO CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSES, AND ALL OTHER SAFE-DRIVING AND SAFE-RIDING RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF THE DISTRICT OR REQUIRED BY LAW OR BY THE COMMISSIONER CONSISTENT WITH LAW SHALL BE ENFORCED ON SCHOOL BUSES WHETHER OR NOT PUPILS ARE BEING TRANSPORTED ON SUCH BUSES AT THE TIME CONDUCT BY A SCHOOL BUS DRIVER OR PASSENGER WHILE ON-BOARD THE BUS IS OBSERVED. B. ALL PUPILS AND ALL SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS SHALL BE NOTIFIED 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 ALL ENROLLED PUPILS. PRIOR TO ACTUAL VIDEOTAPING, 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 SPEC- IFIED DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES AS DEFINED IN THE ESTABLISHED DISCIPLINE POLICY. ACTUAL VIDEOTAPING SHALL BE BY MEANS OF SIMULTANEOUS AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDING. C. REGULAR AND PERIODIC NOTIFICATIONS REGARDING VIDEOTAPING MUST OCCUR, ADDRESSING THE PURPOSE AND USE OF VIDEO EQUIPMENT AND THE NEED FOR PERSONAL AWARENESS OF SAFETY ISSUES. THESE NOTIFICATIONS SHALL BE MADE TO GUARD AGAINST A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. THE USE OF NEWSLETTERS, PUPIL HANDOUTS, AND NOTICES POSTED WITHIN THE BUS SHALL CONSTITUTE MEANS OF FULFILLING THIS REQUIREMENT. D. AFTER VIDEOTAPING HAS BEEN CONDUCTED, THE TAPES SHALL BE STORED IN A SECURE LOCATION FOR A PERIOD OF TIME DESIGNATED BY DISTRICT POLICY, EXCEPT THAT A SPECIFIC TAPE MAY BE REMOVED FROM STORAGE FOR PLAYBACK WHENEVER IT IS NEEDED IN AN ONGOING LEGAL ACTION OR PROCEEDING. E. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OR TRUSTEES OF EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL DESIGNATE ONE OR MORE PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT OR BY EVERY SCHOOL WITHIN THE DISTRICT TO PERIODICALLY REVIEW VIDEOTAPES ON A RANDOM BASIS TO ENSURE PROPER DRIVER AND PUPIL CONDUCT. IF NO MISCONDUCT OR SAFETY-RELATED INCIDENTS ARE REPORTED WITHIN A PERIOD DEFINED BY THE POLICY OF THE DISTRICT, THE TAPES MAY BE RECYCLED FOR FUTURE USE. HOWEV- ER, IF MISCONDUCT OR SAFETY-RELATED INCIDENTS ARE REPORTED, OR IF ANY SUCH INCIDENT IS VIEWED DURING THE RANDOM SELECTION PROCESS, THE TAPES SHALL BE STORED UNTIL FINAL RESOLUTION OR UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ANY ADMIN- ISTRATIVE APPEAL OR LEGAL ACTION OR PROCEEDING IS CONCLUDED. S 2. Section 3621 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 13-a to read as follows: 13-A. SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEM. THE TERM "SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEM" MEANS ONE OR MORE ELECTRONIC DEVICES CONSISTING OF AT LEAST A VIDEO CAMERA AND MICROPHONE AND VIDEOTAPING AND AUDIOTAPING EQUIPMENT, INSTALLED ON A SCHOOL BUS AND CAPABLE OF RECORDING THE CONDUCT AND MOVEMENT OF PERSONS WITHIN THE DRIVER AND PASSENGER COMPART- MENTS OF THE BUS. 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-sixS. 256 3
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 VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS ON SCHOOL BUSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR-A OF THIS ARTICLE, (VIII) the purchase and installa- tion of exterior reflective marking on school buses,
[(viii)](IX) the purchase of automatic engine fire extinguishing systems for school buses used to transport students who use wheelchairs or other assistive mobil- ity devices, and [(ix)](X) the purchase of other equipment as prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner; and S 4. Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 21-j to read as follows: 21-J. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE USE OF SCHOOL BUS VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEMS ON SCHOOL BUSES. S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of the foregoing sections of this act on the effective date of this act is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.