New York Governor signs legislation allowing stop-arm cameras on school buses

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Jorge Royan

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved legislation authorizing school districts to install stop-arm cameras on school buses to ensure the safety of students.

Stop-arm cameras will help law enforcement catch drivers who are passing a stopped school bus. In the State of New York, there are approximately 1.5 million students riding school buses every year.  It state prohibits drivers from passing a stopped school bus due to its concern for students’ safety.

In a statement on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo said, “No parent should ever have to worry that their child’s bus ride to and from school is anything other than safe and easy. By signing this measure into law, we are providing school districts the tools they need to hold reckless drivers accountable and advancing New York State’s bold initiatives to keep our schoolchildren safe.”

On the other hand, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul commented, “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our students getting to and from school.” She added that the newly-signed law will crack down on drivers who put students’ lives in danger. It builds on the state’s “progressive policies to protect students and all New Yorkers from harm.”

Thousands of New York drivers pass stopped school bus

In April last year, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in partnership with the state’s Education Department, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders conducted Operation Safe Stop for a day.

During the operation, law enforcement found that hundreds of people do not comply with the law prohibiting passing a stopped school bus. At the time, 850 people received tickets for violating the law.

The Governor’s office estimated that someone is passing a stopped school bus by more than 180,000 times in a 180-day school year.

Meanwhile, Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Every day across New York State, 50,000 drivers decide to deliberately break the law and pass a stopped school bus, putting our children’s lives and safety at risk. This is simply unacceptable.”

“By enacting this comprehensive legislation that ensures stricter enforcement of these crimes, we’re sending a strong message: if you pass a stopped school bus in New York, you’re going to get caught, you’re going to be fined, and you’re going to be held accountable.”