Safety

Lawsuit May Require Refunds of $30 Million in School Bus Passing Fines

Posted on October 18, 2016
Five motorists received tickets for passing a stop arm and filed a class-action lawsuit against Dallas County Schools and two cities, saying they do not remember driving past the stop arms or were not driving the car at the time.
Five motorists received tickets for passing a stop arm and filed a class-action lawsuit against Dallas County Schools and two cities, saying they do not remember driving past the stop arms or were not driving the car at the time.

DALLAS — A class-action lawsuit filed against the cities of Dallas and Carrollton and the school district that runs buses for the county could lead to $30 million in traffic ticket refunds, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The five plaintiffs, who were all motorists who received traffic tickets for at least $300, claim that Dallas County Schools illegally used stop-arm cameras on school buses to ticket motorists for traffic violations they may not have committed, according to the newspaper. The plaintiffs’ cars were recorded by cameras on the buses, but they said they either do not remember driving past the stop arms or they were not the person driving the car at the time.

Larry Duncan, the Dallas County Schools board president, told The Dallas Morning News that the motorists are looking for a loophole that will allow them to not have to pay the tickets, and he told NBC 5 that attorneys in five cities have reviewed the stop-arm camera implementation and found it to be legal, according to the newspaper.

LeDouglas Johnson, the lead attorney in the lawsuit, told The Dallas Morning News that the school district started using the cameras in 2012, and the money from the traffic tickets goes to the city in which the violation occurs. He also said that the district receives 87.5% of the fines, and that about 100,000 drivers have been ticketed for driving past the stop arms since 2012. (The Dallas Morning News noted that those numbers could not immediately be verified.)

To read the full story, go here.

Related Topics: stop-arm running/illegal passing, Texas

Comments ( 3 )
  • Victoria DeCarlo

     | about 2 years ago

    Here's what I'm thinking and sharing at this moment.... It takes a real putz to deliberately drive through school bus stop arms and get caught on camera doing it. It can't get any worse than the same putzes blatantly denying it, using excuses or blaming it on someone else. To those putzes... eat crow, pay the fine, learn from it and move on.

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VIDEO: Maryland Spotlights Stopping for School Buses

This PSA from the Maryland State Department of Education shows the need to stop for school buses. Tougher penalties and stop-arm cameras in some areas have heightened public awareness, but there is still a long way to go, the PSA states. 

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