Transportation Committee hears Sen. Kent’s school bus safety bill

ST. PAUL, MINN. – The Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee on Wednesday heard a bill authored by Senator Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) and Senator Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) that modifies student transportation requirements. SF 2252 instructs school bus drivers to do interior post-trip inspections to ensure no students remain on the bus.

The bill also states that no school carrier or district allow a driver to operate a school bus for student passenger service that the Department of Public Safety has inspected and marked “out of service” due to equipment concerns, such as brake problems. Buses used for pupil transportation must have an easily accessible seat belt cutter on board.

“Ensuring the safety of our children is the principal reason for this bill,” said Sen. Kent. “When we see our kids get onto a school bus, their safety is no longer in our hands. As parents and guardians, we should have the assurance and peace of mind that our children are protected and make it from point A to point B until they get home safely.”

Sen. Kent co-authored the bill in response to recent incidents in which young students were left on buses and discovered hours later. In one case, a three-year-old was left on a bus for four hours – a dangerous scenario given Minnesota’s extreme climate fluctuations. Should these situations arise, the bill gives prosecutors options to press charges if directors of pupil transportation are not informed.

Sen. Kent encourages constituents to contact her with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Sen. Kent can be reached at 651-296-4166 or at sen.susan.kent@senate.mn.

Senator Susan Kent
Susan Kent represents District 53 in the eastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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