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Private school bus companies would face more fines, oversight under 3 N.J. bills

Larry Higgs | June 11, 2021 | NJ Advance Media |


A trio of bills would put stiffer controls on private school bus companies, by barring problem contractors from bidding on contracts, increasing fines on companies that assign unqualified drivers and creating a state school bus safety ombudsman.

The bills were released by the state Senate Transportation Committee Thursday. They address issues highlighted in a 2019 NJ Advance Media article about a bus company with the highest crash record in the state, and issues with bus inspections, and traffic and safety violations, including the arrest of a driver charged with drunken driving a bus with children on board. A recent series of articles also focused on similar school bus safety problems and issues.

Committee chairman and Senator Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex, mentioned the tragic May 17, 2018 crash of a Paramus school bus on I-80 in Mount Olive that claimed the life of a student and a teacher and injured 43 people on board

“The three bills are all in response to the tragedy that happened in Mount Olive,” he said. “Senator (Joseph) Lagana (D-Bergen) has been on top of it since day one. I know he is working on other bills.”


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