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School Bus Bill To Protect Drivers, Students

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By KBOI

Boise, Idaho ( KBOI ) If a proposal gets through the House, school bus drivers would be able to step–in when students are in imminent danger.

Bullying, fights and medical emergencies are some of the scenarios that could play out on a school bus. The drivers are supposed to call for help and do little else. A proposal aims to give them more power.

"Before, the law was very specific. It said they could only report it. That's it. Now they'll be able, if they feel like they can, do something to help the situation, they'll be able to intervene, and the goal is to keep the students safe," explains Sen. Janie Ward Engelking, District 18.

Idaho's Good Samaritan Law is a gray area when it comes to school buses. The drivers might shy away from helping, worried about potential repercussions.

Law student Abby Thiry says, "if they thought that stepping in and taking care of a child would hurt them financially or cause them to lose their job, I wouldn't step in and do anything."

The changes would give school bus drivers more options. They wouldn't be held liable for acting reasonably or not acting to aid someone on board who's in imminent danger.

The co-sponsor says that will not only protect drivers, it'll also keep kids safer.

State senators approved the bill unanimously. The House Education Committee will hold a public hearing Monday morning and the full house could take a final vote by the end of the week.


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