Rochester tragedy prompts Stop for School Buses Act

U.S. Senators Gary Peters, D-Mich. and Todd Young, R-Ind. introduced the Stop for School Buses Act which would require the Secretary of Transportation to review and report on laws, safety measures and technologies relating to drivers illegally passing school buses.

The legislation was prompted by an incident in Rochester, Indiana that killed three students and injured a fourth as they attempted to board their school bus in October 2018 and an incident in Montcalm County, Michigan where two students were injured attempting to board their bus.

“I’m very troubled by instances of students being injured or losing their lives while waiting for or boarding their school buses,” said Senator Peters. “Parents should expect their children to be safe going to and from school. That’s why I’m introducing the bipartisan Stop for School Buses Act to conduct a top-to-bottom review on what more can be done to address school bus safety.”

“The tragedy that occurred in Rochester is unimaginable, and my heart breaks for the parents of those young children. We cannot allow this to happen ever again,” said Senator Young. “The Stop for School Buses Act will help prevent the illegal passing of school buses and keep our children safe on their way to school.”

The law would require the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to review and report on existing school bus laws and safety technology to prevent drivers from illegally passing school buses. The agency would:

  • Identify illegal passing laws in every state, including penalties.
  • Review the effectiveness of safety countermeasures to protect school bus loading zones.
  • Evaluate and recommend best practices for deterring illegal school bus passing.
  • Review driver education materials to determine whether states can improve driver education regarding illegal passing of school buses.
  • Implement a public safety messaging campaign to highlight the importance of school bus safety.
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