NY legislators pass school bus camera law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged to sign legislation that would permit school districts and municipalities to install cameras that would ticket drivers who pass stopped school buses that have deployed stop signs and lights.

The cameras would capture images of the license plates on offending vehicles so tickets can be issued. First-time offenders would be subject to a $250 fine. Penalties would increase to $275 for the second offense and $300 for third and subsequent citations.

The New York School Bus Contractors Association lobbied for passage of the bill. “This has been at the forefront of the school bus industry with the many horrible stories we have all seen and heard,” said association President Corey Muirhead. “This will undoubtedly make riding in a yellow school bus even safer for every student in New York.”

Supporters of the bill said 16 states permit such school bus cameras. They cited the results of Operation Safe Stop, an annual day of emphasis by New York law enforcement agencies. In 2018, police ticketed 850 drivers for illegal bus passing on a single day in April. More than 150,000 drivers are estimated to violate the law during a school year.

“The safety of our children is paramount, and we are committed to ensuring our youngest New Yorkers make it to and from school safely and that motorists who endanger these students are held accountable for their reckless actions,” Cuomo said.

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