The New York Association for Pupil Transportation voiced support for several school transportation-focused proposals made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State speech.
The governor on Wednesday proposed increasing fines for motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus with its flashing red lights and stop arm activated. “Our own surveys of school bus drivers suggest that the incidence of illegal passing has risen in recent years and increasing fines is one way to attain greater compliance,” NYAPT said in a statement.
The association said it supports Senate Bill 518, which would “authorize the installation and use of photo monitoring devices on school buses to detect and record vehicles illegally passing or overtaking a school bus.”
Gov. Cuomo recommended that the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund is an opportunity to invest in school buses. NYAPT agreed, stating that it is ready to “assist in the smooth execution of the VW investment plans and to allow flexibility for districts and operators to employ clean technologies that meet their needs.”
NYAPT also expressed support for the governor’s call for “increased engagement on bullying and harassment of students in schools and on school buses.”
“For our part, NYAPT and our Cyr Foundation have collaborated on a training program for school bus drivers related to the harassment and bullying of LGBTQ students and we are eager to work with the Governor and the Education Department to train drivers and to reduce the incidence of bullying that occurs on school buses,” the association added.
“These proposals are all good for children and good for safety,” affirmed NYAPT Executive Director Peter Mannella. “Accordingly, we are eager to support the advancement of each of these initiatives and proposals with the Governor and the Legislature and we will begin the process immediately.”
“We are so pleased that the governor has called attention to the importance of school bus safety for all our children by advancing these proposals for action in our state,” added NYAPT President Lori-Ann Savino. “We look forward to being an active part of their development and enactment.”