Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) praised the New Jersey Assembly and State Senate for advancing a series of bills today that would raise safety and accountability standards on all school bus operators, local school districts, and school bus drivers in New Jersey.
“As a parent of two and as a Congressman, I am grateful that our state is continuing to work to ensure that any time our children ride a school bus, they are as safe as possible,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “The tireless work that Assemblyman Tully, Assemblywoman Swain, and Senator Lagana have done at the state level to protect our students must also be extended nationwide. America cannot cut corners when it comes to the safety of our children.”
The bills passed in the New Jersey Assembly and State Senate today would require biannual safety education trainings for school bus drivers, require school bus contractors and boards of education to verify that drivers with suspended licenses are not operating school buses, and insist that school bus drivers provide proof of physical fitness. Another bill which passed the Assembly today, and awaits a vote in the State Senate, would create stronger standards for school bus drivers, so that only best drivers are responsible for our children’s safety.
Additional bills that passed today would improve state school bus operations compliance with federal requirements and study the safety of passengers in school bus accidents and other emergency situations.
Congressman Gottheimer has introduced multiple pieces of bipartisan federal legislation to raise the safety standards for school buses across the country.
In May, Congressman Gottheimer introduced the Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards (SECURES) Act of 2018, which would require that all school buses nationwide have three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts and encourage innovative measures to ensure that students are actually wearing their seat belts while on school buses.
In June, in honor of Paramus bus crash victim Miranda Vargas, Congressman Gottheimer introduced “Miranda’s Law,” which would require automatic notifications of driver violations to school districts and school bus companies within 24 hours, so they can take immediate action to keep unsafe drivers off the road and away from our children.