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June 19, 2013  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

New Jersey stop-arm camera bill clears committee

By Thomas McMahon


TRENTON, N.J. — A state Assembly committee passed a bill that would allow video surveillance systems on school buses to catch illegal passers in the act.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe, would also increase the penalties for illegally passing a school bus.

"This measure sends the message that if a driver violates the law, we will use every legal means possible to track them down, and they will face serious consequences,” McGuckin said. “One student killed by a reckless and irresponsible driver is one too many.”

The bill, A-2150, calls for a five-year pilot program to allow municipalities and school districts to contract with private vendors for stop-arm camera systems on their buses.

"It’s very difficult for school bus drivers to gather information on motorists who unlawfully pass their buses,” Wolfe said. “They are focused on the students getting on and off the bus and the safety of all their passengers. Equipping buses with video systems will serve as an effective public safety tool.”

Alleged violations captured by a monitoring system would be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality. If law enforcement determines that a violation has occurred, a summons would be issued.

If ultimately signed into law, the measure would also upgrade the penalties for the illegal passing of school buses. Violators would face fines ranging from $300 to $500.

Under current law, a first-time offender is subject to a $100 fine and up to 15 days of imprisonment or community service. Second or subsequent violations are subject to a fine of not less than $250 and up to 15 days in jail.

Other recent news related to stop-arm regulations:

Wyoming lawmakers consider tougher bus-passing penalties

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Read more about: New Jersey, stop arm running/illegal passing, video surveillance

I think this is fantastic. As a driver in NJ my reds are ran almost daily, and trying to identify the driver get the tags and make, model, and color of the car can be difficult. I am so happy to see this.

Tina    |    Jul 22, 2013 04:34 PM

I am ALL for it! Too may times throughout my 30 years in School Bus world, many drivers have blown past my stop arms. It was always difficult to get everything down to report to Law Enforcement so that the violator could be cited. My kids were pretty good most times in getting information needed, but not all the time and then as a driver you're busy making sure your kid is safe. You also feel helpless when there is a driver who blows the sign and your student is in the process of crossing. In California, the driver has to get out, go stand in the other lane making sure traffic has stopped. A driver almost drove over my feet, up on the sidewalk and on she went. Needless to say, the CHP officer and i went to her door after the routes and she was still wearing the same red shoes and polka dot dress. Her excuse was,"she had to get to the Hairdresser on time. Big fine! Every school bus in the entire country needs this to make it safer for our Children. Keep up the good work there in NJ! All of you other in School Bus world, please be safe and keep up the great job. Take care of those kids!

Dann Barnes    |    Jun 29, 2013 09:13 PM

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