RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law last week a bill that allows citations for stop-arm violations to be mailed to owners of vehicles that were involved in the incidents.
As previously reported, Falls Church and Arlington County had been using stop-arm cameras on school buses to record images of illegal passing incidents and issuing fines to the motorists. However, both jurisdictions stopped after the commonwealth’s attorney general ruled that summonses must be hand-delivered by police to the motorists’ homes and could not be mailed. Authorities said that that would be too time-consuming and costly. Soon after, Delegate Kaye Kory introduced legislation to clarify that police have the authority to issue the summonses by mail.
The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, allows local jurisdictions to mail citations to violators. The law updates the previous “Video Monitoring on School Buses” bill that was signed into law in 2011, that prompted the attorney general’s ruling. In Virginia, a motorist who illegally passes a school bus faces a $250 fine, but as part of the new law, the vehicle’s owner will have the chance to contest who was driving the vehicle at the time of the violation, according to Del Ray Patch.
Police had reviewed more than 350 possible violations from a pilot program in Chesterfield County that had used the stop-arm cameras on 50 school buses from March 19, 2015, to May 11, 2015, WRIC reports. Of those potential violations, police said that 93% would have been valid citations if the program had been live, and that would equal about 10,000 violations if cameras had been placed on every bus in the district, WRIC reports.