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Dad of girl killed in I-80 bus crash, Congressman Gottheimer fight to pass school bus safety laws

WESTWOOD, NJ (Bergen County) – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced Tuesday a new campaign to pass bipartisan bus safety legislation to protect our children on America’s school buses: Miranda’s Law and the Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards (SECURES) Act.

Gottheimer stood alongside Joevanny Vargas, the father of Miranda Vargas, who lost her life in the tragic Paramus bus crash one year ago this week on I-80 in Mount Olive Township.

(Jay Edwards | For WRNJ)

Vargas will be joining Gottheimer in Washington, D.C., this Spring to tell his story on Capitol Hill to help get this bipartisan legislation across the finish line.

The bipartisan Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards (SECURES Act) is cosponsored by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23). The SECURES Act requires seat belts on all school buses, makes three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts the national standard, and encourages innovative measures to ensure students actually wear their seat belts while on school buses.

The bipartisan Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act – or Miranda’s Law – is cosponsored by Congressmembers Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Tom Reed (NY-23), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Dan Kildee (MI-5), Elijah Cummings (MD-7), Albio Sires (NJ-8), and Thomas Suozzi (NY-3). Miranda’s Law ensures real-time background checks, so that when a school bus driver has any driving infraction beyond a parking ticket, the school or school bus company will receive an alert about that infraction from the Department of Transportation within 24 hours.

“We are here to help turn tragedy into hope for other children and families. Joevanny will be joining me in Washington beginning this spring, so that he can tell his story to members of Congress on why our communities so desperately need this bipartisan legislation.” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Miranda’s Law, and the SECURES Act, will help save lives. And there’s nothing partisan about that.”

“This is not a New Jersey problem. This is a national problem that needs to be addressed before we’re confronted with another tragedy,” said Joevanny Vargas, father of Miranda Vargas. “This is common sense legislation – it’s not about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about moms and dads.”

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook

(Photo: Courtesy Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s Office)

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