PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Legislation is making its way through the Rhode Island General Assembly that would authorize school districts statewide to operate real-time, digital video camera systems on bus exteriors to detect and monitor school bus law traffic violations.
To purchase the systems, a district would enter into an agreement with a private company, and the company would be responsible for installing, operating and maintaining the cameras.
The bill stipulates that vendors would be compensated based on the cost of their services and the cost of system’s equipment.
The said reimbursement would be generated from ticket revenue proceeds from paid school bus traffic law violations. Vendors would receive 75 percent of the revenue, while 12.5 percent would go to the state general fund. The remaining 12.5 percent would be allocated to the municipality in which the traffic violation occurred.
Moreover, a sign indicating the use of the monitoring systems would have to be posted on all school buses on which the equipment is installed.
Motorists who violate the traffic laws by passing a stopped bus while its red lights are flashing would receive a $300 fine and license suspension for up to 30 days. Subsequent violations would result in a fine of up to $500 and their license could be revoked for one year.
The bill would take effect upon being signed by Gov. Donald Carcieri.