News

Senate approves increased penalties in N.Y. for passing stopped school bus

ALBANY, N.Y. >> Legislation that would increase penalties for passing a stopped school bus has passed in the Senate. The measure, sponsored by state Senator John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.

The bill would enhance current penalties for passing a stopped school bus by adding a 60-day suspension of a person’s driver’s license when the individual is convicted two or more times of passing a stopped school bus in a 10-year period.

Current law provides that an individual convicted two or more times of speeding in a construction zone be subject to a 60-day driver’s license suspension.

Bonacic wants the same penalty to apply to passing a stopped school bus.

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School bus stop arm cameras are in NY budget

Jeff Preval- http://www.wgrz.com

BUFFALO, NY - Two days after Governor Cuomo unveiled his budget, we're learning one part of his plan allows school districts to install cameras on school bus stop-arms.

This has been a safety issue 2 On Your Side has been following and asking questions about for years. But, lawmakers in Albany have had concerns about the cost that would be passed onto school districts.

In New York State, an estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass school buses every day.

"It continues as a really serious problem," said Peter Mannella, executive director of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, which has been fighting to get cameras on stop arms for years, to catch violators.

But, lawmakers have had questions about the costs that would fall onto school districts. In Governor Cuomo's proposed budget, school districts would be allowed to install cameras on stop arms.

"This year that's the first time that's ever happened, I think it gains a lot more support or at least less opposition, because it's going to be part of that overall package in the budget someone is going to have to be very focused to say let's take that out," Mannella said.

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School, transportation administrators back bus camera bill

http://www.whec.com

State lawmakers could soon give schools new weapons to stop drivers from illegally passing stopped school buses.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed new state budget includes a provision to raise fines for passing a stopped school bus and to let school systems install “stop arm” cameras on school buses.  The cameras would start recording when a bus stops and its red lights begin flashing.

By some estimates, cars illegally pass stopped school buses 50,000 times a day in New York State.

“When people pass the reds, it’s just a split second away from taking a child’s life,” said Kathleen Callon, Transportation Director for the East Irondequoit school system.

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RENEWABLE DIESEL OR PROPANE: A NEW CHOICE FOR THE YELLOW FLEET

Written by Michael Terreri

Conventional diesel is rolling back on its heels. Proponents say that there are two types of fleets today—those that are planning a switch from diesel or those that have already made the move.

That is a small exaggeration, but concerns surrounding cost, emissions and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) maintenance are forcing fleets to look in all directions for solutions: Renewable diesel, propane, natural gas, electric drivetrains and even gasoline. Though propane has enjoyed a certain advantage over the other alternatives because of a unique combination of maintenance, emissions and cost saving benefits, its dominance was challenged with the arrival of renewable diesel.

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NYAPT SUPPORTS GOV. CUOMO ON SCHOOL BUS SAFETY MEASURES

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation voiced support for several school transportation-focused proposals made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State speech.

The governor on Wednesday proposed increasing fines for motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus with its flashing red lights and stop arm activated. “Our own surveys of school bus drivers suggest that the incidence of illegal passing has risen in recent years and increasing fines is one way to attain greater compliance,” NYAPT said in a statement.

The association said it supports Senate Bill 518, which would “authorize the installation and use of photo monitoring devices on school buses to detect and record vehicles illegally passing or overtaking a school bus.”

Gov. Cuomo recommended that the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund is an opportunity to invest in school buses. NYAPT agreed, stating that it is ready to “assist in the smooth execution of the VW investment plans and to allow flexibility for districts and operators to employ clean technologies that meet their needs.”

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NEW YORK SCHOOL BUS CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES INDUSTRY-WIDE EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH AWARD TO OUTSTANDING MEMBER COMPANY EMPLOYEES

The New York School Bus Contractors Association recognized state Sen. Jeff Klein as legislator of the year for advocating for bills that would increase penalties for motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses and exempt private school bus companies from paying sales tax on school bus and equipment purchases.

NYSBCA honored Klein on Oct. 14 during the association’s 63rd Annual Convention with a Distinguished Service Award for “unmatched commitment to the Association’s mission to provide the safest, most reliable and cost-effective student transportation possible.”

Bree Allen, NYSBCA’s president, called Klein “a true champion” of school bus safety and a “key ally” in the New York State Legislature.

Klein, a Democrat, represents New York’s 34th senate district in the Bronx and Westchester County. He currently serves as Senate Coalition co-leader and leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, which he founded in 2011.

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NY SCHOOL BUS CONTRACTORS RECOGNIZE STATE SENATOR

The New York School Bus Contractors Association recognized state Sen. Jeff Klein as legislator of the year for advocating for bills that would increase penalties for motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses and exempt private school bus companies from paying sales tax on school bus and equipment purchases.

NYSBCA honored Klein on Oct. 14 during the association’s 63rd Annual Convention with a Distinguished Service Award for “unmatched commitment to the Association’s mission to provide the safest, most reliable and cost-effective student transportation possible.”

Bree Allen, NYSBCA’s president, called Klein “a true champion” of school bus safety and a “key ally” in the New York State Legislature.

Klein, a Democrat, represents New York’s 34th senate district in the Bronx and Westchester County. He currently serves as Senate Coalition co-leader and leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, which he founded in 2011.

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State & Union: New book features pictures of the development of Blue Bird Square

http://www.oleantimesherald.com/

When a bus company decided to build its corporate headquarters in Olean, photographer Les Howard turned the construction into a creation.

Twenty-nine years later he has produced a book, “Transitional Photographs of One Blue Bird Square, Olean, New York.”

The former Blue Bird Bus Company built its corporate office in Olean and Mr. Howard documented the event from a bare lot to a grand opening. Out of 2,590 photographs, 792 slides were converted to digital images to use for his book, published by Trafford Publishing and available through online book sources.

Howard says he was fascinated with the idea of telling a story with numbered photographs and captions. The complete story of Blue Bird Square, built by the late Louis Magnano, is shown from ground-breaking, excavating to building of forms to pouring concrete through a series of detailed images.

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