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Parents Back Push For Interlock Ignition Devices On School Buses

School Bus into Syosset home (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

School Bus into Syosset home (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

SYOSSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some parents on Long Island are encouraging lawmakers to pass a new law that would prevent school bus drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, just a few weeks ago, authorities said a school bus driver left a private school with five children onboard and slammed into a home on Syosset, Long Island.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

On Oct. 3, the mini school bus carrying five children crashed into the garage of a house in Syosset. Nassau County Police said they later determined the driver was drunk at the time of the accident.

The driver, Frederick Flowers, 66, was charged with five counts of driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, five counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of driving while intoxicated with at least one child on a bus.

Now, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, New York State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick), and parents said they support placing interlock ignition devices in all school buses statewide, so that in order to start the bus, the drivers would have to take a quick breath test to make sure they were not drunk.

“To have a bus driver blow into this device is so simple,” Fuschillo said earlier this month.

Some parents said the devices would make them feel safer.

“I am the mother of four, and interlock ignition devices would add another level of protection,” one parent said.

If the legislation were passed, it would be the first law of its kind in the country.