ALBANY N.Y. -The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) is calling for legislation that would put cameras on the stop arm of school buses.
The group says that even though it's against the law to drive around a stopping school bus, it is happening on a daily basis. If a car does not stop for a school bus, it jeopardizes the safety of children getting on and off the school bus. NYAPT says something needs to be done before a young life is taken.
If passed, a camera would be placed on the bus to record if a driver were to pass a school bus either from the front or rear. Law enforcement would then be notified of the violation.
“We are looking at this technology where we put this camera on this stop arm so when it's out and a car passes it. We got a pic of the car and license plate that's provided to police. They issue a summons and a fine. We get the fine for it and it reminds drivers we are taking this seriously,” said NYAPT Executive Director Peter Mannella.
Senator Catharine Young, who is sponsoring this legislation, says action needs to be taken.
“It's horrifying this young woman mowed over by a car and that's exactly what we are trying to avoid here. And the way to do it is having these stop arm cameras,” she said.
NYAPT says through this legislation, school districts can be eligible for state aid to buy these cameras or can be reimbursed for equipment through the fines collected. It would not be mandated by every school bus to have one.
“This is to allow school districts that are having perpetual problems to install these cameras to use as evidence and educate the community to stop the illegal passing,” said Tony Quaranta, Director of Transportation.
NYAPT say they are confident the state legislature will look into this issue, especially since last week, some local lawmakers introduced a bill to have cameras installed at red light intersections.