The New York State Senate today passed two bills, sponsored by Joe Robach, that would enhance the safety of bus passengers by preventing registered sex offenders from becoming bus drivers and increasing penalties for passing a stopped school bus.

Legislation (S.1519) would prohibit a registered sex offender from obtaining or renewing a commercial drivers license to operate a passenger or school bus, providing a greater level of protection to the public from these individuals.

Another bill (S.1878) provides for a 60-day suspension of an individual’s drivers license when the holder is convicted two or more times of passing a stopped school bus within a period of 10 years. This legislation would make the penalties for multiple violations of passing a stopped school bus the same as penalties for drivers convicted of speeding in a construction zone two or more times.

Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “The bills passed today would help schoolchildren and others who count on bus transportation to get them to their destinations safely by reducing potential and preventable dangers. Drivers who overtake stopped school buses should be penalized strongly for jeopardizing the lives of children and families with their carelessness, and sex offenders do not belong in jobs like driving a bus because they could have opportunities to hurt children or others.”

The Senate bills, supported by Joe Robach, have been sent to the Assembly.  For more information on Senate initiatives, contact the office of Joe Robach.