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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng Introduces Legislation to Ban School Bus Drivers Convicted of Drunk Driving

Sep 8, 2017
Press Release
Presently no universal requirements exist. Congresswoman sponsors the bill as students head back to school
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As students across New York and elsewhere around the country return to school this week, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) reintroduced legislation to safeguard students against bus drivers who have a record of drunk driving.
 
Meng’s bill, the No School Bus Drivers with DUIs Act, H.R.3703, would prohibit elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools that receive federal education funds from employing school bus drivers who have been convicted of, or plead guilty to, drunk driving or a driving-related felony.
 
“No parent should have to worry whether the bus driver who transports his or her child to school has a history of DUIs, or if the child is safe on the bus,” said Meng. “Unfortunately, there is no universal requirement that school bus drivers have a record free of DUI convictions. Just this past May, a school bus driver from Wyoming was arrested for driving a bus with kids on board while under the influence, and after her arrest it was discovered that she had a prior DUI conviction. Congress must act to ensure the safety of our children, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support my common sense legislation.” 
 
Few school bus drivers drive across state lines, so they are not subject to many federal safety regulations. Currently, each state has its own hiring practices for school bus drivers, and some states do not have any requirements related to drunk driving convictions.
 
In June, CBS News reported a “stunning lack of oversight of school bus drivers.” Of 21 states that told CBS News they had no school bus drivers who had been charged with DUIs in the past three years, each state had at least one such arrest. Meng’s legislation would prevent this type of hiring oversight by prohibiting any K-12 public school from employing a school bus driver who has been convicted of or plead guilty to a DUI.
 
A copy of Meng’s bill can be viewed here.
 
Meng is a founder and a Co-Chair of the Congressional Kids’ Safety Caucus, the first bipartisan coalition in the House to promote child-safety issues.