Legislation Pending in New York Requiring Background Checks for Bus Drivers

By Michael Klazema on 7/10/2012


Pending legislation in New York State would require criminal background checks for all bus drivers. This follows a recently released National Transportation Safety Board report recommending more comprehensive checks of bus drivers. Sponsored by New York State Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Fuschillo Jr., the bill has already been approved by the Senate, and awaits passage by the state Assembly.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s report inspected a Bronx bus crash from 2011 that killed 15 people. It was found that the driver had several prior convictions, including manslaughter and driving without a license. The driver was not killed in the crash, and his license was suspended after it was discovered he made false statements on his application form. Since potential drivers are sometimes only required to self-disclose previous convictions or driving violations, stronger background check conditions were among the report’s recommendations. “The NTSB’s report is just the latest reminder about why we need stronger laws to protect bus passengers. Waiting for another tragedy before acting is a backwards approach,” Fuschillo said. “We should act to prevent another tragedy. It’s long past time to approve this commonsense measure to save lives, improve safety and prevent unfit, unqualified bus drivers from getting behind the wheel.


By requiring all bus drivers to undergo background checks, the hope is it would also prevent the use of aliases or false names that would hide past crimes that disqualify them from holding a driver’s license. Following an additional report performed last year investigating the licensing and oversight of commercial bus drivers after the Bronx bus crash, the New York State Inspector General recommended criminal background checks for all bus drivers. The Bronx crash also led to increased roadside inspections, with at least 530 drivers and 460 vehicles being removed from the road. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation shut down several New York-based bus companies due to extensive safety violations.


This pending law in New York follows in the wake of a similar law being proposed in Iowa. It is important that those with a responsibility for the safety of others have thorough driving record and background checks. Do you know who is really working for you? If your company is not performing background checks on a regular basis, you should be. Try using a company like, who will do all of the hard work for you. With access to countless criminal databases nationwide, they provide several options for instant results. Their US OneSEARCH provides you with information from more than 430 million criminal records from counties, Department of Corrections (DOC), Administration of Courts (AOC) and State Sex Offender Registries covering 49 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. Also included are national and international terrorism sources, more than 11 million photos, and their proprietary database of previously completed reports. Or to find out about possible aliases, try their US AliasSEARCH. This is a multi-faceted search that combines US OneSEARCH with the known aliases provided from a SSN trace. All information derived from this search is run through the US OneSEARCH instant criminal database, assuring all possible aliases are found. Don’t allow your business to be liable for the actions of your employees – do everything you can to protect yourself with


About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit



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