CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A bill that would require stop-arm cameras on Wyoming school buses is advancing in the state Legislature.
Under House Bill 5, as of the 2016-17 school year, all school buses transporting students to and from school and student activities would have to be equipped with external cameras to capture evidence of illegal school bus passing. Internal school bus surveillance cameras would remain optional.
Last week, the bill was approved in the Wyoming House and was sent to the Senate. On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bill, moving it back to the Senate’s general file.
The legislation initially specified that up to $5 million would be provided to reimburse school districts for 100% of the costs of equipping school buses with both external and internal video surveillance systems. However, according to The Associated Press, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to strip the bill of that funding. (UPDATE: The Associated Press later reported that the Senate voted to reject the committee's defunding amendment, so the $5 million appropriation remains in the bill.)
In 2011, 11-year-old Makayla Marie Strahle was struck and killed by a vehicle passing her school bus as she was crossing the street in Crowheart, Wyo. Last year, students from Strahle’s school district spoke to legislators and submitted proposals aimed at cracking down on stop-arm running.
Wyoming Rep. Patrick Goggles, a supporter of House Bill 5, said last week that students in the Crowheart area “asked me to pass this bill,” according to the Casper Star-Tribune.