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Goiv. Phil Murphy signs a school bus safety bill in Paramus on August 25, 2018 (NEW JERSEY GLOBE PHOTO)

Murphy signs school bus safety bill

By David Wildstein, August 25 2018 2:17 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy was in Paramus today to sign a new law that mandates all new school buses to be equipped with three-point safety belts.

The legislation was passed after a tragic May 17 school bus accident on Route 80 that killed fifth grader Miranda Vargas and her teacher, Jennifer Williamson.  Several students and faculty from East Brook Middle School were injured in the crash.

“It was a day of broken hearts,” said Murphy, recalling that day.

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) and Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera were at Murphy’s side during the bill signing, along with Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield), Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn), and Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy).Gov. Phil Murphy was in Paramus today to sign a new law that mandates all new school buses to be equipped with three-point safety belts.

The legislation was passed after a tragic May 17 school bus accident on Route 80 that killed a nine-year-old Miranda Vargas and her teacher, Jennifer Williamson.  Several students and faculty were injured in the crash.

“It was a day of broken hearts,” said Murphy, recalling that day.

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) and Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera were at Murphy’s side during the bill signing, along with Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield), Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn), and Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy).

“We will never know if a three-point belt would have saved the lives of Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson, or whether they would have prevented serious injury to so many others on May 17,” said Governor Murphy. “Every child and every educator and adult chaperone deserves our best effort to protect their safety and the best possible chance of emerging unharmed in the unfortunate event of a school bus accident. For Miranda and Mrs. Williamson and for all the children in New Jersey and for their families and communities, I am honored to sign this legislation.”

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