Two important pieces of legislation supported this year by Secretary of State Jesse White will take effect as new laws January 1st and include measures that improve school bus safety as well as increase safety belt usage.
Public Act 97-0466 allows a school bus company that has a reasonable suspicion to believe that their school bus driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to require the driver to submit to alcohol and drug testing before driving a school bus. The Secretary of State’s office will then suspend for three years the school bus permit of a driver who refuses to submit to a test or fails to obtain a zero tolerance for the presence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds.
Public Act 97-0016 requires safety belt use for all backseat passengers. Prior to this change, only front seat passengers were required to where a safety belt under the state’s primary safety belt law.