Senators introduce school bus safety bill requiring exhaustive national study

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WASHINGTON (WJRT) (5/22/2019) - Two U.S. senators are introducing legislation to improve safety of students getting on and off school buses.

Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan and Todd Young of Indiana introduced the Stop for School Buses Act of 2019, which would require the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to conduct an exhaustive study of school bus safety measures.

The legislation is a reaction to a spate of crashes involving students getting on and off school buses. They include two students seriously injured in Montcalm County last year and three Rochester, Indiana, students who died boarding their bus last fall.

“I’m very troubled by instances of students being injured or losing their lives while waiting for or boarding their school buses,” Peters said. “Parents should expect their children to be safe going to and from school.”

The NHTSA study required by the legislation would include a review of states' school bus passing laws and safety technology available on buses. The study would look at driver education curriculum regarding school bus safety in each state.

NHTSA would generate a report for Congress to consider additional laws mandating safety measures nationwide.

NHTSA also would launch a public safety messaging campaign nationwide to educate drivers on the dangers of illegally passing school buses.

The legislation has to pass the Senate and U.S. House before it heads to President Trump's desk for a signature that would make it law.