Alabama Bill Calls for Stop-Arm Video Cameras on School Buses


School districts and school bus companies could be allowed to install video cameras on school buses to capture motorists who illegally drive past the extended stop arm during student loading and unloading, according to a bill introduced in January. 

The Alabama School Bus Safety Act, SB 144, authorizes school boards to install video cameras and enter into agreements with local police and courts to enforce stop-arm video programs. The county or municipality would receive 40 percent of fines paid by motorists with teh school district also receiving 40 percent, the State Department of Education receiving 10 percent for school bus safety iniatives and the Alabama Department of Public Safety receiving 10 percent for deposit into its highway safety program.

Additionally, the bill allows school districts to enter into agreements with third-party contractors to administer the fines.

Law enforcement or a trained technician would review the video of alleged violations and tickets would be mailed to the owner of the vehicle within 14 days. The owner would be responsible for paying the fine unless he or she could successfully transfer that responsibility to another party. A first offense would result in a $300 ticket, with a second offense increasing to $750 and a third and all subsequent offenses within a five-year period increasing to $1,000.

The bill also states that all video that does not show an infraction shall be destroyed within 90 days of being reviewed by law enforcement or trained technicians. Meanwhile, photos would need to be destroyed within 30 days.