TRENTON, N.J. — A state legislative committee approved on Thursday four bills intended to increase school bus safety, including one that would allow districts to contract with companies to place stop-arm cameras on buses, reports.

The state Senate Education Committee voted 4-1 to approve S503, which would allow municipalities and districts to contract with companies that would install cameras to catch drivers who pass stopped buses, according to the news source. The bill would also raise the fines, in addition to the five points violators already get on their licenses and up to 15 days of community service.

The committee also approved legislation that would require new school buses to be equipped with sensors to alert drivers when a child walks in front of the bus (S2011); require new buses to be equipped with lap-shoulder seat belts (S632); and require the New Jersey Department of Education to develop a training program on interacting with special-needs students for school bus drivers and aides (S274), reports.

This was the first legislative step for the package of bills, which must pass the state Senate and Assembly before being sent to Gov. Chris Christie's desk, according to the news source.

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