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H.R. 4595 (113th): School Bus Safety Act


The text of the bill below is as of May 7, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4595

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 7, 2014

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To encourage school bus safety.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the School Bus Safety Act .

I

Kadyn’s Act

101.

Short title

This title may be cited as Kadyn’s Act.

102.

Withholding apportionments for noncompliance with school bus passings

(a)

Withholding apportionments

Chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

171.

Withholding apportionments for noncompliance with school bus passings

(a)

Withholding of apportionments for noncompliance

(1)

Withholding

The Secretary shall withhold 10 percent of the amount required to be apportioned to any State under paragraphs (1), (3), and (4) of section 104(b) on October 1, 2015, and on each October 1 thereafter if the State does not meet the requirements of paragraph (2).

(2)

Requirement

A State meets the requirements of this paragraph if the State has enacted and is enforcing a law that imposes the following penalties to a motorist who is found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus:

(A)

First offense

For a first offense, a fine of not less than $250 with the possibility of jail time and license suspension.

(B)

Second offense within a 5-year period of a first offense

For a second offense within a 5-year period of a first offense, a fine of not less than $315 with the possibility of jail time and license suspension.

(b)

Period of availability of apportioned funds

Funds withheld after the date specified in subsection (a)(1) from apportionments to any State shall not be available for apportionment to that State and such funds will lapse.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The analysis for chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

171. Withholding apportionments for noncompliance with school bus passings

.

II

Grants for motion-activated detection system on school buses

201.

Short title

This title may be cited as Grants for Motion-Activated Detection System on School Buses Act .

202.

Grants for motion-activated detection system on school buses

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Transportation may provide grants to States to equip school buses with motion-activated detection system.

(b)

Application

In order to qualify for a grant under this section, a State shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require, including—

(1)

an assurance that the State will use grant funds to purchase motion-activated detection systems for school buses; and

(2)

an assurance that the State is in compliance with sections 171 and 172 of title 23, United States Code.

(c)

Grant amounts

Before awarding a grant under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that each grant award is of sufficient size and scope to carry out the requirements of this section.

(d)

Funding

In order to fund grant awards under this section, the Secretary shall use funds not apportioned pursuant to sections 171 and 172 of title 23, United States Code.

(e)

Reports

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the State shall submit a report to the Secretary regarding the effectiveness of the motion-activated detection system in any local educational agency using grant funds under this section, including—

(1)

whether or not the detection system has prevented children from being hit by a school bus; and

(2)

a cost benefit analysis of using these detection systems on school buses.

(f)

Definition

For purposes of this Act, the term motion-activated detection system means a sensor system that uses radio signals or radar waves to detect a moving target near the front, rear, and sides of a school bus. The system sounds an alarm to alert the driver when a moving target is detected within the specified danger zones of the bus.

III

School bus driver safety enforcement

301.

Withholding for noncompliance of background checks of school bus drivers

(a)

Withholding apportionments

Chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

172.

Withholding apportionments for noncompliance of background checks of school bus drivers

(a)

Withholding

The Secretary shall withhold 10 percent of the amount required to be apportioned to any State under paragraphs (1), (3), and (4) of section 104(b) on October 1, 2015, and on each October 1 thereafter if the State does not meet the requirements of paragraph (2).

(b)

Requirement

A State meets the requirements of this paragraph if the State has enacted a law that requires the employer to conduct a background check before hiring a school bus driver. Such background check shall include—

(1)

a review of State and local court information on arrests, charges, convictions;

(2)

a review of any sex offender registry; and

(3)

a review of any child abuse or dependent adult abuse registry.

(c)

Period of availability of apportioned funds

Funds withheld after the date specified in subsection (a)(1) from apportionments to any State shall not be available for apportionment to that State and such funds will lapse.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The analysis for chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

172. Withholding apportionments for noncompliance of background checks of school bus drivers

.

IV

School bus seat belt demonstration program

401.

School bus seat belt demonstration program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Transportation may award grants to States to develop a school bus seat belt program to purchase type 1 school buses equipped with lap/shoulder seat belts or equip existing type 1 school buses with lap/shoulder seat belts.

(b)

Application

In order to qualify for a grant under this section, a State shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require, including—

(1)

an assurance that the State will use grant funds to purchase type I school buses with lap/shoulder seat belts or equip existing type 1 school buses with such seat belts;

(2)

an assurance that the State is in compliance with sections 171 and 172 of title 23, United States Code; and

(3)

a list of the local educational agencies which the State selects to receive the seat belt equipped buses, including the reasons why each agency should receive school buses with seat belts.

(c)

Local educational agency requirements

The State shall require that any local educational agency that receives grant funds pursuant to this Act shall develop—

(1)

a plan to ensure that all students riding the school buses with lap/shoulder belts are using them; and

(2)

an educational program regarding seat belt safety.

(d)

Grant amounts

Before awarding a grant under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that each grant award is of sufficient size and scope to carry out the requirements of this section.

(e)

Funding

In order to fund grant awards under this section, the Secretary shall use funds not apportioned pursuant to sections 171 and 172 of title 23, United States Code.

(f)

Definition

In this section, the term type 1 school bus means a school bus weighing more than 10,000 pounds.

(g)

Reporting

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the State shall submit a report to the Secretary regarding the effectiveness of the lap/shoulder seat belt program in any local educational agency using grant funds under this section, including—

(1)

student usage of seat belts; and

(2)

the impact on school bus seating capacity.

V

NHTSA study

501.

NHTSA study

(a)

In general

The National Highway Traffic Safety Board shall conduct a comprehensive study regarding the effects of illegal passing of school buses.

(b)

Study and pilot program

The study shall include—

(1)

a pilot program demonstrating the effectiveness of additional technologies and equipment on school buses, including additional front and rear stop arms, driver alert devices, secondary warning signs and aids to general visibility of buses;

(2)

enforcement schemes, including camera systems and increased fines on preventing, mitigating, and enforcing against illegal passing of school buses;

(3)

establishment and comparison of baseline performance standards for existing school buses and operations that can be measured and validated with school buses with additional equipment, over a set period of time, in a broad geographic area; and

(4)

consideration of the impact of additional driver training and a targeted public awareness and education campaign on the prevention, mitigation, and enforcement of illegal passing of school buses.

(c)

Report to Congress

Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Board shall submit a report to Congress with the results of the study and make recommendations for changes to Federal, State, and local laws and regulations to prevent, mitigate, and better enforce illegal school bus passing laws.