MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It won't be long before summer ends, and the school year begins. With each school year comes the return of thousands of bright yellow school buses transporting precious cargo each day on our Alabama roadways.
In April a bill was passed, and this month the new law goes into effect allowing state school systems to place cameras on the stop arms of school buses. This will provide for the capturing of video evidence when a driver breaks the law by not stopping when these signs are displayed at stops.
Not only will participating schools now be able to prove that someone has passed their bus illegally, threatening the safety and well-being of the children entering and exiting these buses, but a fine of $300 will be issued to the offender.
One could only hope that the mere fact that you run the risk of running a child over when you don't stop would be enough, but recent statistics show otherwise. Based on a survey administered by the Alabama Department of Education, last year alone there were 1,361 incidents involving illegal passing of school buses.
We enthusiastically support all school systems in the river region adopting this program to add cameras to as many buses as they can. Money shouldn't be an issue here as there is a revenue share available on ticketing that would help to offset the upfront and ongoing costs.
We ask that you reach out to your school's leaders this month and ask them if they are going to be keeping record.