UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The Upper East Side's representative in the City Council is continuing the fight to make the city's school buses safer, according to reports.
City Councilman Ben Kallos is planning to introduce legislation that would allow the city to equip buses with cameras that would catch drivers speeding around buses while the stop arm is active, the New York Post first reported.
"I would love to see New York City and New York State catch up to other jurisdictions to keep children and parents safe, but I would also like us to become a leader," Kallos told the Post.
School buses are currently equipped with stop arm devices that display a stop sign when the bus is stopped for pickups and dropoffs. Drivers are supposed to yield so that kids can get to the curb safely, but nearly 50,000 drivers ignore the signals each year in New York State, the Post reported.
The new legislation would work much like speed cameras in school zones. Drivers who pass by a stopped bus would be photographed and fined without the need for a police officers to catch them in the act, the Post reported. Current fines for the offense can reach $250.
Similar legislation is being included in a traffic safety package before the state legislature, the Post reported. Much like speed cameras, city implementation would require state approval, according to the report.
Kallos is no stranger to school bus improvements. The Upper East Side representative introduced successful legislation in 2018 that calls for the installation of two-way radios and GPS devices on buses so Department of Education officials and parents could better track the safety of students.