Holland Sentinel: Peters reintroduces bill to evaluate national school bus safety

WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters would order a national evaluation over school bus safety at loading zones where children get on the bus.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, introduced the Stop for School Buses Act in the Senate Wednesday, March 17. The bill would 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.

Peters, along with Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, first introduced the legislation during Congress' previous session in 2019, after instances of school children being struck by vehicles which didn't stop while the bus was loading.

“We need to do everything we can to help keep kids safe on their way to and from school, and that’s why it’s time for a much-needed review of safety laws surrounding school buses,” Peters said in a statement. “By passing the Stop for School Buses Act, we can identify best practices and make our communities safer for children and families.”

Under the Stop for School Buses Act, the NHTSA would be required to:

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.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, introduced a companion bill in the House.

Source: Holland Sentinel