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Every day in New York State, school transportation professionals drive millions of children back and forth to school. These people are competent, hard-working and extremely responsible.

The overwhelming majority of school bus drivers realize that the safety of the children they transport is the single most important aspect of their occupation. But unfortunately, there are exceptions. In every large group, there are a few people who refuse to live by the rules.

We need to send a strong message of zero tolerance concerning drugs and alcohol for school bus drivers. Those who violate drug and alcohol laws must be barred from ever driving our children again. Assembly Bill #2320 will help ensure our children's safety by permanently disqualifying any driver who tests positive on a random drug or alcohol test.

The school transportation industry is fortunate to have the complete support of the Senate. Now all parents and grandparents who have children riding buses must demand the support of the Assembly to move the bill out of the Transportation Committee and onto the Assembly floor to pass this legislation.

The bill, which has been studied by the Senate and Assembly since January, is not a duplication of any federal law. It is time for our state to assert its responsibility to protect all children who ride school buses.

William D. Garrison Jr. Director of Transportation
Shenendehowa Central School

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