NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — Each day, around 50,000 people illegally pass school buses in New York State, but thanks to a new bill, those people can be held accountable, allowing stop arm cameras to be used for ticketing.
Before the new law was passed last week, even if a bus driver did have a camera on their stop arm and they caught someone passing by, they couldn’t use that footage in a court of law. A police officer would have had to catch the suspect with their own eyes.
Now, since the passing of the bill, school districts can work with local law enforcement to use that video to ticket those people.
The first time you’re caught, you could be ticketed anywhere from $250 to $400.
We brought this up to the Commissioner of Education and she says this is a big break for safety, recommending districts use the fines collected from these tickets to pit it toward school safety.
“We have had tragedies in New York related to issues of road safety and buses and young children. So anything that would make a situation better and be more safe and be proactive about it, I think we ought to do,” said Mary Ellen Elia, Commissioner of Education.
There are some local school districts that do have the stop arm cameras on their buses. Right now, if a district wants to buy one or participate in the program, it is up to them to pay for it.
The Commissioner also told us that stakeholders of the SAVE Act are meeting this week in light of the mass shootings we’ve seen across the country to talk about school safety moving forward.