Florida legislators proposed HB 179 after a hit-and-run driver struck and killed 10-year-old Yaceny Berenice Rodriguez-Gonzalez as she crossed the street to board her school bus in Fort Pierce. - Photo courtesy Fort Pierce Police Department

Florida legislators proposed HB 179 after a hit-and-run driver struck and killed 10-year-old Yaceny Berenice Rodriguez-Gonzalez as she crossed the street to board her school bus in Fort Pierce.

Photo courtesy Fort Pierce Police Department

The death of a 10-year-old girl in Florida last week as she crossed the street to board her school bus prompted two state representatives to propose new photographic enforcement legislation.

Yaceny Berenice Rodriguez-Gonzalez died Sept. 23 after a hit-and-run driver struck her in Fort Pierce and fled the scene. Investigators said the white sedan had maneuvered around a parked school bus, which had its stop arm extended and red lights flashing. Police later found the car and reported that they have a person of interest in the case, but no arrest has been reported at this time.

House Bill 179, proposed by representatives Thad Altman (R-Indian Harbour Beach) and Emily Slosberg (D-Boca Raton), would authorize school districts to install cameras on school-bus stop arms with the intent of capturing whether vehicles stop on approach as required by law. Footage from the cameras could be used by law enforcement agencies to enforce traffic laws.

“I can think of no higher priority than protecting our children and that is exactly what this bill does,” Altman said in a statement.

Fort Pierce police found the car that's suspected of running down a 10-year-old girl as she was crossing the street to board her school bus. - Photo courtesy Fort Pierce Police Department

Fort Pierce police found the car that's suspected of running down a 10-year-old girl as she was crossing the street to board her school bus.

Photo courtesy Fort Pierce Police Department

Said Slosberg: “This legislation holds drivers accountable for ensuring the safety of kids that are getting on and off school buses.”

The bill is expected to be considered during the next legislative session, which starts in January. If passed, it would go into effect on July 1, 2022.

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