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School vans could use flashing lights

School buses in Pennsylvania may not be the only school vehicles receiving special privileges on the state’s roads.

House Bill 419, sponsored by Rep. Matt Garbler, R-DuBois, was recently passed in the state House of Representatives by a 196-0 vote, with six legislators marked excused. Rep. Kathy Rapp was among those voting in favor of the bill earlier this month.

Garbler’s legislation had been introduced in past years before receiving serious consideration this year. It would allow lights to be placed on vans and minivans that are used to transport students, something Garbler said is important because some smaller school vehicles are difficult to see in some areas of the state in the early morning hours and sometimes aren’t seen easily by other drivers.

“Across our Commonwealth school vehicles travel thousands of miles each day to transport children to their places of learning,” Garbler said on the floor of the House in support of his bill. “These vehicles, by nature of the purpose they serve, may behave in ways that other drivers on the road do not expect.”

The legislation is now being considered in the state Senate. It was amended and approved, 14-0, in the Senate Transportation Committee and referred to the Appropriations Committee.

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