Ensuring Children’s Safety on School Buses
It is hard to believe that summer break will soon be over and children will return to school. Numerous parents rely on local school districts’ transportation systems to get their children safely to and from school on a daily basis. New York lawmakers want to make the state’s school bus systems safer. WHEC.com recently reported that legislators introduced two bills targeted at bus drivers that attempt to operate a school bus while intoxicated.
1. Ignition Interlock Devices on School Buses
An ignition interlock device (IID), also known as a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID), is an apparatus mounted to the interior of a vehicle. The purpose of the IID is to detect whether or not the operator’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registers at a safe level to drive. Before a motor vehicle with an IID can start, the operator must blow a puff of air into the mechanism – similar to a Breathalyzer – if the BAC levels are at or over the pre-programmed BAC level, the vehicle will not start. The device also requires the operator to give additional, intermittent breath samples while the vehicle is on.
In New York State a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher qualifies as driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, drivers of commercial motor vehicles, such as school buses, are considered to be drunk driving when a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher is registered.
Senator George Maziarz (R) from Niagara Falls proposed the IID bill. The bill was introduced after four (4) DWI school bus driver-related accidents occurred on Long Island. Senator Maziarz espouses that the devices on school buses would save lives. He also argues that they are not as costly as opponents of the bill contend.
2. Alcohol Testing and Greater Penalties for School Bus Drivers
Some of the state’s lawmakers believe the installation of the IIDs on school buses is too pricey and other, less expensive, alternatives to safety on the buses exist. Senator Ted O’Brien (D) of Fairport, favors increasing penalties for those bus drivers receiving DWIs. Senator O’Brien also wants more random alcohol testing of bus drivers. He believes greater supervision of the drivers before they venture out on school bus routes will minimize bus driver-related DWIs.
Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R) from Williamsville projects that the installation of IIDs on school buses would cost the State of New York tens of thousands of dollars – approximately $100 per school bus. He supports legislation that imposes greater penalties for all drunk drivers.
While lawmakers disagree on how to make the school buses safer – they appear to agree on the importance of keeping children as safe as possible on the school buses.
NY DWI Attorney
At Nave DWI Defense Attorneys we understand and support the notion of keeping the roads safe for everyone – including children on school buses. We also uphold the basis of our justice system – presumed innocence. Our legal team vigorously defends the rights of those charged with DWI in Watertown – or anywhere in the State of New York. We solely focus on DWI defense.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.