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New York allows school bus cameras to catch reckless drivers

August 06, 2019 07:25 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -  New York state is making it easier for school districts and law enforcement to track and fine drivers who illegally pass school buses that are stopped with their red lights flashing.
    
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation Tuesday. The Democrat says no parents should have to worry about their children's safety during their rides to school.
    
State transportation officials estimate that motorists illegally pass stopped school buses tens of thousands of times each day in the state. In 2018, during a one-day crackdown on the problem, police issued more than 850 tickets.
    
The cameras are installed on the stop-arms of buses.  Drivers caught on camera passing a stopped bus would face $250 fines.
    
Seventy-five local officials wrote to lawmakers earlier this year urging them to pass the measure.

This is an opt-in program with districts that already have cameras on their buses to choose if they wish to partner with law enforcement to track drivers and collect fines. Previously an officer had to witness the violation first-hand.

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"We think it's a good program. It's one tool that you can use to try to deal with the illegal passing issue. The other tools or education training drivers need to manage their distractions put their cell phones down, when those school buses yellow lights come on slow down, when the red lights come on you need to stop,' said David Christopher, director of the New York Association of Pupil Transportation Services.

Credits

AP / Jacquie Slater

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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