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PA Lawmakers push to add cameras to school buses

YORK, York County (WHP Harrisburg) -- A York County legislator is hoping newly proposed legislation can help protect the children of Pennsylvania each day they take the bus to and from school.

State Representative Seth Grove has proposed legislation that would allow school districts to install video cameras onto their school buses to catch drivers who pass the buses when the red lights are flashing, and children are entering and exiting the bus. According to recent data, school buses nationwide have an average of one car pass them illegally each day. Under current law, it's up to the school bus driver to take down the information of the driver and report it to authorities, but this new legislation would change that. "As soon as the red lights are activated on a school bus, it's the responsibility of a driver on any roadway to stop," said Jillian Meinke, Director of Student Guardian.

With the new technology, when the red lights start flashing, that's when the cameras would start recording. "When the red lights are activated, the camera technology is activated to detect motion, looking for any vehicles that may illegally pass the stop bar," Meinke said.

The recorded video would then be wirelessly transmitted to a processing facility where it would be reviewed and sent to police, but until then, video cameras on school buses can do very little to convict a driver.

Meinke also said, "Until legislation passes, it's not permissible to issue tickets based on the photographic evidence."

The new legislation would allow schools to opt in to the program and would be funded by the $250 fine issued when someone passes a bus illegally. "Basically, it's self-funded." Representative Seth Grove explained.

"As you catch violators, it pays for itself." If the legislation is passed, it would be up to each school district to decide whether they want to opt into the program, it would not be mandated state-wide.

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