Cameras could be installed on NY school buses to catch drivers illegally passing them

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 18:19:08-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — State lawmakers are working on legislation that would allow districts to install a camera on a school bus's stop arm.

These cameras would catch motorists who illegally pass school buses when students are getting on or off.

"We've had, going back a number of years, some very close calls that could have ended tragically. So absolutely I've seen that we deal with it on a regular basis," said Marcus Whitman Central Schools Superintendent Jeramy Clingerman.

"As a parent who has children in the school system, I think anything we can do is a good idea," said Special Agent Lewis Robinson, with the Buffalo Secret Service Office.

Having cameras on school buses gives school districts another option to keep kids safe on their way to and from school.

Violators would face a $250 fine.

"I think that will set the tone as to once those stories start breaking people being arrested, ticketed if you will, fined for those violations, well I think it would bring a greater awareness to why it's important to make those stops," said Clingerman.

As this bill makes its way through Albany, 1,300 educators, school counselors and law enforcement agencies gathered at UB for the annual Safe Schools Initiative Seminar, with a goal to update best practices for preventing school violence, and to learn how best to heal after.

Among the speakers - Frank DeAngelis, who was principal of Columbine High School during the 1999 massacre that killed 13 people.

"I think as adults, the thing that we want to do is make sure that our kids have full, successful lives. And any life taken is a life that...it hurts all of us, but when you look at these kids that have so much potential that's why an event like this is so important," he said.

The school bus camera legislation has passed the state Assembly and now heads to the Senate.