The State Senate passed two bills that would enhance the safety of bus passengers by preventing registered sex offenders from becoming bus drivers and increasing penalties for passing a stopped school bus.

A bill sponsored Senator Carl Marcellino would prohibit a registered sex offender from obtaining or renewing a commercial driver’s license to operate a passenger or school bus, providing a greater level of protection to the public from these individuals.

Another bill, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, provides for a 60-day suspension of an individual's driver’s license when the holder is convicted two or more times of passing a stopped school bus within a period of 10 years. This legislation would make the penalties for multiple violations of passing a stopped school bus the same as penalties for drivers convicted of speeding in a construction zone two or more times.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.