Thanks to Rep. Josh Shapiro (D, Montgomery), riding a school bus may be safer.
In February, a Perkiomen Valley School District bus driver -- who had been involved in a fatal accident in 1999 -- struck and killed another motorist while on the job. Shapiro immediately made a direct request to state Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler after this incident, asking for a change in regulations covering a driver's record.
Shapiro subsequently worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to implement changes to the driver's-records check system that allows school districts and bus contractors to make more informed decisions. The system, which has just come on line, will now show employers the severity of every accident that bus drivers were involved in, and provide their complete driving history. Previously, only a 10-year history was provided.
PennDOT should be commended for passing these changes before the start of the school year. They add a necessary level of protection for children traveling to school by bus.