State lawmakers advance legislation to regulate school bus drivers

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TRENTON -

The New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee advanced legislation that would regulate school bus drivers in the state.

The push for legislation comes after a deadly school bus crash on Interstate 80 earlier this year. A teacher and fifth-grade student from East Brook Middle School in Paramus were killed when the bus struck a dump truck.

Bus driver Hudy Muldrow is facing vehicular manslaughter charges related to the crash. Prosecutors say that he had a history of driving violations. He was cited in the past for speeding and careless driving. He had driving suspensions going back decades.

Lawmakers say that the legislation is destined to keep bad drivers off the road and to keep children safe.

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“As a legislator and a mother, that horrific accident, I think it sent chills through everyone's spine,” says Assemblywoman Lisa Swain.

Swain represents Paramus and is sponsoring the legislation. 

Under the legislation, three moving violations or six points on a license within three years would cost a driver their privilege to operate a school bus.

“You shouldn't have to wait until a license is suspended before we start pulling out an unsafe driver from driving our school buses,” says Assemblyman Daniel Benson.

The full state Assembly will now take up the bus safety legislation for consideration.

A second measure creating a safety education program for bus drivers and aides is also moving forward in the state Assembly.

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