LANSING, Mich. — A proposed bill package aims to enhance school bus safety by restricting who can board and stiffen penalties on those who do so unlawfully, crack down on motorists who illegally pass buses, and allow stop-arm cameras.
News Advocate reports that the bills, HB 5038 through HB 5042, were unanimously approved by the House Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security Committee.
HB 5038 through HB 5040 would address illegal school bus boarding. HB 5038 states that anyone other than students, teachers, chaperones, or other authorized personnel, cannot enter a school bus without the driver’s permission and is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable for up to 93 days in jail, a fine of up to $100, or both. A person who does so with the intent to do bodily harm is guilty of a felony, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both, according to the text of the legislation. HB 5039 amends criminal code to include the description “entering a school bus with intent to do bodily harm.”
HB 5040 allows a sticker to be affixed to the left side of a school bus service door stating that “An unauthorized person attempting to board or boarding this school bus is subject to arrest and prosecution."
HB 5041 calls for motorists who illegally pass a school bus to be found guilty of a misdemeanor and receive at least one of the following: up to 93 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, and up to 100 hours of community service at a school.
Meanwhile, HB 5042 seeks to allow stop-arm camera systems on school buses to record video or photographs of vehicles and registration plates of motorists who run stop arms.
State Rep. Jack O’Malley is one of the lawmakers who introduced HB 5038, according to a news release from Michigan House Republicans office in October.
“We have a duty to look out for our young people and ensure they are safe on their way to and from school,” O’Malley, who is also chair of the House Transportation Committee, said in the news release. “This isn’t a partisan issue. We can all agree that we want our children to be kept safe while they’re on the bus.”