New California Bus Safety Law After Tragic Death

October 4, 2016
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New legislation has last week been signed by the Gov. Jerry Brown, which will requiring an alarm system on school buses, to ensure students are not left behind.

The child bill – known as the “Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law”, has come about after the tragic death of Paul Lee.

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Photo credit – Paul Lee’s Family

Paul, who was 19 and suffered with autism, died on September 11th 2015, after being left on the school bus for 9 hours in 90 degree heat. The driver of the bus, who has now been convicted, had failed to check the bus after dropping off students.

The Lee family questions how Paul could have been overlooked. They said there were only three other students who rode their son’s bus and he was the last one to board.

The trip to the school from his home lasts around six minutes and Paul was not a small person. He was 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed almost 300 pounds.

The Lees said he may have been the size of a man, but he had the mind of a toddler. His mother, Younha Lee, bathed him, brushed his teeth and combed his hair daily. Paul could not speak.

“He cannot speak out even one word. He cannot ask help,” his mother said.

The bill will come in to effect between 2018 to 2019. All buses will be equipped with a “child safety alert system,”. After each shift the driver must manually make contact with the device, situated at the back of the bus, to ensure all seats were checked and nobody is left on the bus.

The law will also require school bus drivers to receive training in child-safety check procedures.This new ruling will aim to prevent this heartbreaking and dreadful situation ever happening again to another child.

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