HARTFORD, Conn. — Video surveillance footage can now be used against motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses in Connecticut.
The move is one of an assortment of state law changes that went into effect on Friday as a result of legislation from the General Assembly’s most recent session.
The amended law requires that warning signs are posted on school buses equipped with surveillance systems to catch the stop-arm violations. An image that clearly shows the license plate number of a passing vehicle will be considered sufficient proof of the identity of the vehicle.
A first violation of illegal school bus passing brings a $450 fine, which is divided into $54 for the state transportation fund, $36 for the state general fund and $360 for the municipality.
Other new Connecticut law changes related to pupil transportation include:
• School bus carriers now have 48 hours — reduced from 10 days — after reviewing a report with the names of suspended/revoked operators to remove such an employee from driving duties.
• Texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle is now included in the definition of “serious traffic violation“ for enforcement of CDL penalties.
• Dealers are now allowed to register commercial motor vehicles, trailers, service and school buses electronically.
Also, the surcharge for obtaining a CDL was increased from $15 to $17.50 per year, among a variety of other state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) fee increases.
“These fee increases are modest and are part of the shared sacrifice needed to help resolve the state’s budget issues,” DMV Commissioner Melody Currey said.
Currey added that the changes in laws are part of the continuing effort to streamline DMV services and make them more efficient.