Close this search box.

New Jersey’s Confusing School Busing State Regulations

sbu.jpgThe NJ Star Ledger reports: Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish parents send their boys and girls to separate private schools, as their faith requires. To do so, they pay van operators to transport their children, but many drivers do not have commercial licenses or drive commercial vehicles. When police found out, they began ticketing the drivers.

Parents of the 15,000 Orthodox students in the Ocean County township complained, and the citations stopped.

Seventy miles away, in Dover in Morris County, the town’s Latino parents have a similar dilemma but a different outcome. Many of the 3,000 school-age children live within 2 miles of their school, which means they don’t qualify for busing. So, parents pay van drivers there, too. Just like in Lakewood, the ticketing started, but in Dover it hasn’t stopped.

Police say these vans don’t use seat belts or car seats. They say they ticket drivers paid by parents because the exchange of money makes the drivers part of a business, and a business should have the proper commercial license.

The law, Title 39, is confusing. When legislators tried three years ago to resolve the Lakewood ticketing issue, they tried to make the law simpler by no longer distinguishing between people driving students for free and those who do it for pay. “We didn’t want them to have to get a (commercial) license,” said state Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean), a former Lakewood mayor.
But the resulting law is stricter — forcing just about anyone taking kids to school to comply with school bus regulations.

Despite the confusion, Lakewood police say they no longer ticket people for driving students to school. “If someone were ticketed …, my office would be flooded with phone calls,” Mayor Raymond Coles said. Yet, in Dover, police recently gave resident Mariela Zapata, 49, a stack of 36 tickets for illegally driving students.

Singer says ticketing people for driving students in an area with no school buses is “ludicrous.” He plans to reintroduce legislation to clear up the confusion, and make it possible for the van drivers to operate.

(Source: NJ Star Ledger)

2 Responses

  1. I believe that in this case it would be a Kiddush Ha-shem for a frum yid or two to lend support to the Latino cause…


  2. but of course: do it for the “Kiddush Ha-shem”…whoever thought of doing something ‘just’ in order to help?!?! (mind you, i think we’re lucky that we have this idea called “Kiddush Ha-shem” otherwise we wouldn’t ever help others…and I wonder why others ever help us considering that, to the best of my knowledge, they are not familiar and/or care about this idea)

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts