A new piece of legislation signed by the acting governor Kim Guadagno provides for a number of protections for adult students with developmental disabilities.
The legislation requires school bus drivers to use flashing red lights when picking up or dropping off adult students who suffer from disabilities. It also requires drivers who are approaching a school bus to stop at least 25 feet ahead. Violators of the law will be subject to a number of penalties that are similar to the penalties for violators of protections already in place for child passengers.
A motorist who illegally passes a stopped school bus can place child or adult passengers disembarking from the school bus at risk of serious injuries. A number of states have been tweaking their school bus safety laws to prohibit motorists from engaging in such reckless driving practices.
New Jersey personal injury lawyers believe that the enforcement of traffic laws surrounding school bus operation is important, and the federal administration has been paying heed to increasing concerns involving motorists who fail to obey traffic laws near a stopped school bus. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation called Kadyn’s Amendment. The legislation requires that the federal administration dedicate at least $10 million in funding to states that increase enforcement of traffic laws related to stopped school buses.
With the passing of this new bill, New Jersey motorists must understand that when they see a stopped school bus with lights flashing, they must come to a complete stop until the passengers disembark or climb onto the bus. Motorists who violate the law may receive a minimum penalty of $100 as well as a 15-day jail sentence or 15 days of community service. The law will also require that school bus operators remain stopped until every person with a developmental disability has boarded or alighted from the bus.
The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons injured in automobile accidents across New Jersey.