In The People's Blog

Hi! I’m Sam Hopper, Director of Constituent Engagement for Senator Comerford. In addition to my work engaging with the incredible constituents of the Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester district, I also engage as a constituent of the district.

Today I sent testimony in support of a bill that is very important to me, S.2075, An Act relative to school bus safety, filed by Senator Diana DiZoglio and co-sponsored by Senator Comerford. The bill had its hearing yesterday in the Joint Committee on Transportation. Here’s my testimony:

Good afternoon, Chairs Boncore & Straus,

I write with strong support of Senator DiZoglio’s bill S.2075 – An Act relative to school bus safety.

My kiddo has been riding the school bus in the Northampton Public Schools going on 4 years now. When she was in kindergarten, I was appalled by the number of cars that would illegally pass her bus. One of my child’s schoolmates was hit by a car illegally passing her bus.

I grew tired of fighting this fight alone by making homemade signs and monitoring our street’s bus stops so took it up a notch. I took part in a local safety campaign and partnered with the Mayor, Chief of Police and police department, Director of DPW, City Councilors, and invested community members to come up with solutions. We had increased police presence and ticketing, created a school bus safety PSA that ran on local television and radio, had more safety signage put in on the street, and did everything in our power to educate the public on school bus safety laws. I’m glad to report that since our big campaign, less cars are illegally passing our bus.

But this was all done for one bus route on one street. There are still cars illegally passing school buses which as you know, can lead to serious and fatal accidents. Let’s not wait until the worst happens to take action.

I know there are many school bus camera bills, but I’ve chosen to strongly support Senator DiZoglio’s bill because I think it’s the most comprehensive, especially because it does not put an unfunded mandate on our already underfunded school districts and municipalities.

I strongly urge you to take quick action to pass this bill with a positive recommendation.

Thank you so much for your work and for your time,
Sam Hopper
Northampton, MA

One part of my job is helping make sure our constituents’ voices are heard. I encourage you to submit testimony on bills you care about. If you have questions about bills, what the process is, how to submit testimony, who to write testimony to, or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me: samantha.hopper@masenate.gov or (413) 367-4656.

P.s. Watch our school bus safety PSA here, and please stop for school buses!

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