This week, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) announced the introduction of the Stop for School Buses Act of 2019 (S. 1254). Last year, in Rochester, Indiana, a driver struck and killed three young siblings and injured a fourth student while they were boarding a school bus. This bipartisan legislation requires a comprehensive evaluation of methods to prevent the dangerous and illegal passing of school buses at loading zones. U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. The bipartisan Stop for School Buses Actwould require the National Highway Transportation Safety (NHTSA) to review and report on existing school bus passing laws and current school bus safety technology to prevent illegal passing. NHTSA would be required to conduct a comprehensive review and report to Congress on best practices.
NHTSA would be required to review:
- 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.