Lawmakers in two states recently proposed legislation that includes measures such as external cameras on buses and increasing fines for offending motorists in an effort to combat illegal school bus passing.
On Tuesday, lawmakers in Delaware approved House Bill 202 to create a pilot program that would allow Red Clay Consolidated School District to use external school bus cameras to capture stop-arm violations and issue fines to offending motorists. The program would require the district to display reflective tape that states “Violation for Passing When Red Lights Flashing” on the front and back of buses that are equipped with the cameras. The program would also require the district to make one public service announcement each year informing motorists about the use of the cameras.
Under HB 202, stop-arm violators would incur a $100 fine for a first offense and $500 for any subsequent offense within 10 years of a prior offense. The revenue collected from the fines would be used to further fund the operation of the pilot program.
As School Bus Fleet previously reported, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kim Williams, introduced similar legislation in March that would allow all school districts and charter schools in Delaware to install external camera systems on buses to capture stop-arm violations. House Bill 111 was voted out of the House Education Committee on April 10 and is now awaiting its third and final reading, according to the Delaware General Assembly’s website.
HB 202 is awaiting approval from Gov. John Carney.
Meanwhile, in Utah, Rep. Craig Hall introduced a bill that would increase penalties for stop-arm running.
House Bill 84 would raise the minimum fine for passing a school bus for the first time from $100 to $250 and from $200 to $500 for a second time within three years of a prior offense. A third violation would be a fine of $1,000 within three years of a prior offense.
The bill was submitted to the House on Jan. 16, according to the Utah State Legislature’s website. The state's 2020 legislative session is expected to begin on Jan. 27.