Bill Creates “Task Force on Safety in School Transportation” in Memory of Child Struck and Killed by School Bus
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic) to establish the “Task Force on Safety in School Transportation.”
Addiego first introduced the bill after a 6-year-old child from her district, Edmond Bock, was struck and killed by a school bus in Waterford.
Sen. Dawn Addiego’s bill to improve school bus safety was introduced after 6-year-old Edmond Bock was struck and killed by a school bus in Waterford. (Photo courtesy of Bock family)
“Each and every one of the 23 million children who ride school buses every year should be treated with the highest level of care by those who are responsible for getting them to school safely,” Senator Addiego said. “Edmond Bock’s death is a heartbreaking example of what can happen when we do not have the proper safeguards in place. We need to take immediate action at the state level so that no other child is put in harm’s way.”
Senator Addiego’s bill, S-1910, is part of a two-bill package to address issues associated with school transportation safety in the wake of Edmond Bock’s tragic passing. The second bill, S-1911, is currently awaiting action in the legislature.
The 17-member task force established under S-1910 would be charged with studying and improving State laws, regulations and programs that address student safety in school transportation. Other responsibilities include:
- Identify safety protocols that all school bus drivers and bus aids must follow, including safeguards for when there is a substitute, such as the driver who was operating the bus that struck and killed Edmund Bock.
- Identify best practices for school bus stops
- Identify how to implement vehicle sensor technology and curb illegal passing of a school bus
- Develop a plan to phase in any safety measures recommended by the task force, such as retrofitting or purchasing new vehicles
The task force established under S-1910 would include the Commissioners of Education and Transportation, the Chief Administrator of the NJMVC, the Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, and 13 members to be appointed by the Governor.
The task force must present a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature no later than 12 months after its organization and will cease to exist upon submitting its report. If signed into law, the legislation would take effect immediately.
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