NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Lawmakers in New York have passed a bill that would required criminal background checks of tour bus and charter bus drivers.
The legislation was passed Thursday by the state Senate. The bill is in response to tour bus crashes in New York and other states that prompted spot checks and revealed dozens of drivers were holding licenses under aliases while others had past criminal convictions.
There have been at least two deadly tour bus crashes already this year.
On Tuesday, a bus operated by SkyExpress was heading to New York City when it crashed in Virginia. Four people were killed in the wreck and 54 others were injured.
The driver, 37-year-old Kin Yiu Cheung, was arrested and charged with reckless driving.
In March, 14 people were killed when a tour bus crashed on the outskirts of New York City.
That bus was returning from a Connecticut casino when it scraped along a guard rail, tipped on its side and slammed into a pole along Interstate 95.
Republican Sen. Charles Fuschillo of Long Island says all new bus drivers would have to submit to criminal background checks and the backgrounds of current drivers would be reviewed when they renew their commercial driver’s license.
School bus drivers already face those background checks.
The Democrat-led Assembly is considering the bill.
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