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Congressman Brindisi Promotes Legislation to Improve School Bus Safety
A press conference promoting legislation to help improve school bus safety for students across our nation was held at the Chenango Valley Transportation Department on May 13.
 
 Anthony Brindisi speaking at press conference
 
Congressman Anthony Brindisi, who is a co-sponsor of the bi-partisan “Stop for School Buses Act of 2019,” led the event to highlight its potential impact on student safety, and discuss its relevance to the recent release of a video of a Norwich City School District bus driver stopping a student from exiting their bus as a car illegally passed on the right side. See more.

“I believe this legislation is a step in the right direction to work with our states to develop best practices and provide funding mechanisms for our school districts to have the technology so they can prevent new incidents from occurring,” said Congressman Brindisi.

The “Stop for School Buses Act,” calls for a thorough, nationwide review of efforts to improve the safety of students riding school buses and to help prevent illegal passing. Under this legislation, the United State Department of Transportation would undergo procedures such as evaluating the effectiveness of various technologies to help prevent illegal passing, reviewing public safety measures and programs, and issuing recommendations on best practices for preventing these passing incidents.

At the press conference, members of local law enforcement, transportation officials, representatives from Chenango Valley Central School District, and members of the Chenango Valley Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (CVE-PTA) voiced their support for this bill.
 
 chenango valley superintendent speaking at press conference

“I see the hard work and dedication of our school bus drivers. They have a hard job and a difficult job that they take very seriously. And they truly do care about our students," stated Chenango Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Gill at the press conference. “I really find it unbelievable and sad that we even have to have this conversation and legislation on something that should be common sense, but it’s important.”
 
 chenango valley supervisor of transportation speaking at press conference
 
“What it comes down to is the constant and consistent training that professionals get and pass on to their students. It’s this training that has saved many lives through the years, but we can only do so much,” said Chenango Valley Central School District Supervisor of Transportation Sue Ticknor. “It’s got to be the consciousness of the person who is driving that vehicle, (and) coming near our buses and our children. They are the ones who need to make the conscious decision when they see those yellow lights come on to know that this bus is going to stop. When the red lights come on, you need to stop.”

“I am very comfortable with our bus drivers and they are very competent and well-trained, but I fear there is always that chance,” said Laura Dancesia, representing the Chenango Valley Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (CVE-PTA). 
 
 parent-teacher association representative speaking at press conference
 
“As a parent-teacher association, we definitely will continue to support all aspects of bus safety both here in our district and throughout the state,” Dancesia added.

Brindisi said he hopes the bill will be passed by the end of this year to start conducting studies and move further in the process towards executing best safety practices.
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