Republican members of the Niagara County Legislature have brought forth a resolution calling for the county to equip school buses with photo violation monitoring systems in an effort to protect students and catch those who unlawfully pass stopped school buses.
The resolution notes approximately 1.5 million students ride the bus to and from school each year in New York. Based on 2018 law enforcement efforts targeting offenders passing school buses, it is estimated instances of someone passing a stopped school bus occurred over 150,000 times in a 180-day school year.
Under the program, cameras would be mounted on a particular part of the bus to capture images of drivers failing to stop when a school bus has its red lights on. The captured images would then be sent to local municipalities and law enforcement for prosecution.
Legislature Chairman Keith McNall, the resolution’s lead sponsor, explained why cameras are now necessary.
“Every day, motorists pass stopped school buses, putting children’s lives in danger,” he said. “Those drivers need to be held accountable and, by equipping our school buses with cameras, drivers will be less likely to continue their reckless behavior.”
The legislature’s vice chairwoman, Rebecca Wydysh, who cosponsored the proposed legislation, articulated her unique perspective.
“As the mother of two grown children, I remember how I worried about them as they waited and crossed the road,” Wydysh said. “With this legislation, motorists will certainly think twice before passing a stopped school bus.”