New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill to crack down on impaired school bus drivers.
The new law will take effect in four months and require all bus drivers to be eligible for random drug and alcohol screenings.
Under previous law and federal rules, drivers operating mini-buses carrying under 16 passengers were not required to submit to drug and alcohol testing.
“They’re transporting students, they’re transporting other people’s children, and it’s a daily process, they bring them in, they take them home again. They’re responsible for other people’s children and not just one or two, but a group of children so they should be at their very best before getting behind the wheel,” said Dean Lincoln, administrative director of Transportation and Technology for AuSable Valley Central School District.
The law also prohibits bus drivers from drinking alcohol 8 hours prior to their shift, an increase from the previous 6 hours.
New York State will reimburse school districts for the cost of testing.