Yakym teams up on bill addressing illegal school bus passings

Above is a screengrab from video used to document school bus art violations. File photo.
News Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Rudy Yakym and Congresswoman Julia Brownley, of California, introduced the Jackie Walorski Enhancing Necessary Data on (END) Illegal School Bus Passing Act.

According to a news release from Yakym’s Congressional office, the bipartisan legislation builds on the Stop for School Buses Act of 2021.

“Our community in northern Indiana knows all too well the tragic consequences when drivers illegally pass a stopped school bus,” said Yakym, who represents Indiana’s Second District.

“My predecessor and dear friend, Jackie Walorski, sprung into action to pass the Stop for School Buses Act of 2021. Congresswoman Brownley and I are proud to carry on her legacy by ensuring more robust data on the frequency and circumstances surrounding illegal school bus passings. Through this legislation we can put taxpayer dollars to better use as we educate the public about the dangers of passing stopped school buses, prevent further tragedies, and save lives.”

“As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I worked with the late Congresswoman Jackie Walorski to include life-saving legislation to address the significant risks posed to children when vehicles violate school bus stop signs in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Brownley.

“I am proud to join Congressman Yakym to build on the progress we’ve made and help protect children from injury and death from illegal passing,” she said.

“Jackie always cared about helping children, whether it was her missionary service helping impoverished children in Romania to her work in Congress fighting childhood hunger,” said Dean Swihart and Martha Walorski, Jackie Walorski’s husband and mother.

“This legislation is a fitting testament to Jackie’s legacy and one more important layer of protection for children riding a school bus.”

The bill:

  • Requires the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish a demonstration project with 12 school districts, in collaboration with local law enforcement, to gather data on illegal school bus passings throughout the school year, including frequency, circumstances, and demographics of and consequences for the driver. NHTSA must report the results to Congress.
  • Requires NHTSA to use the information gathered in the demonstration project to conduct a national public safety messaging campaign that increases awareness and education about the dangers of illegal school bus passing, create training and informational materials for state highway safety agencies and law enforcement, and develop model legislation for states to address illegal school bus passing.

“The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) commends Representatives Rudy Yakym and Julia Brownley for introducing the Jackie Walorski Enhancing Necessary Data on (END) Illegal Passing Act, which will further advance federal efforts to eradicate the completely preventable phenomenon of drivers illegally passing stopped school buses,” said Curt Macysyn, Executive Director of NSTA.

“NSTA also wants to take this opportunity to remember and honor the late Representative Jackie Walorski of Indiana, for whom the bill is named, for her dedicated leadership to advance this issue in Congress by pushing for enactment of the Stop for School Buses Act as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. Additionally, we applaud Representative Yakym for continuing her legacy by championing this important legislation, and NSTA looks forward to working with Congress to enact it.”

The full text of the legislation can be found here.