FRANKFORT, Ky. — A lawmaker here has pre-filed legislation that would require the use of stop-arm cameras to catch motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
Bill Request 136, sponsored by House Rep. Robert Goforth, would require school districts to install and maintain stop-arm cameras on their daily route school buses, and allow districts to partner with a third-party designee, such as a stop-arm camera supplier, to process and issue citations to offending motorists.
The bill states that stop-arm violators would be subject to fines of up to $200 for the first offense and up to $500 for each subsequent offense occurring within a three-year period. Approximately 80% of the fine revenue, according to the bill, would be given to school districts to help pay for the cost of installing and operating the cameras, while the remaining funds would be distributed between the Kentucky Department of Education and the corresponding law enforcement agency that issued the citation.
Goforth told WSAZ that he introduced the legislation to help combat Kentucky's ongoing issue of illegal school bus passing. He added that the state has had some of the “worst possible tragedies imaginable” on school buses, and that “out of those awful occurrences we’ve learned that we must be proactive in ensuring pupil transportation safety so that we do all in our power to protect precious lives.”
If the legislation is passed, school districts would have to install stop-arm cameras on their buses by Aug. 1, 2023.