Senate to take up bill allowing use of cameras to enforce stop-arm violations

school buses, stop arms, brake4buses
Passing stopped school buses is a rising problem in North Carolina.

A bill allowing video surveillance to enforce school bus stop-arm violations will be taken up by the North Carolina Senate.

Senate Bill 298 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It now moves to a vote on the Senate floor.

The bill says video captured by a school bus safety camera can be used in enforcing school bus stop-arm violations. The vehicle’s registered owner faces a $500 fine, and is subject to a $100 late penalty if the ticket is not paid in time.

Under current North Carolina law, G.S. 20-217, drivers who are convicted of passing a stopped schools bus face a $500 fine and are not eligible for a prayer for judgment.

A driver who passes a stopped school bus and hits someone will face a Class I felony and a minimum of $1,000. The penalty rises to a Class H felony and fine of $2,500 if someone is killed.

State law says drivers going either direction must stop when a school bus is stopped to let children off. Drivers are not supposed to continue until the bus has completed dropping the children off and begun to move again.

Drivers can pass a stopped school bus if their lane is separated from the bus by a physical barrier such as a median or if when there is a turn lane in the middle of a five-lane road.

In a single day, the Department of Public Instruction said 3,153 vehicles passed stopped school buses, putting more than 800,000 children in danger.

WNCN is encouraging everyone to spread the word. Tell your friends, your family members, and most importantly talk to your kids. Spread the word on social media using #Brake4Buses. You could save a life.

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