Following the death of a 7-year-old Abilene, Kansas, girl who was struck and killed by a motorist while attempting to board her school bus last September, the state’s House Judiciary Committee introduced a bill authorizing the state department of education to contract with a private vendor to install and operate school bus stop-arm cameras.
Introduced at the end of January, HB 2154 authorizes the use of video cameras to help catch motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. The bill also calls for the creation of procedures for violating the stop arm and civil penalties. It requires annual reports be sent to the legislature.
HB 2154 calls on the Kansas State Department of Education to create policies and procedures to contract with a private vendor on the installation, operation and maintenance of stop-arm cameras. The cameras must capture the location of where the violation occurred, an image of the vehicle involved, and an image of the license plate of that vehicle.
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The bill states that the owner of a vehicle who fails to stop for a school bus with its stop-arm extended and red lights flashing is fined a civil penalty of $250. The fine would go toward paying the private vendor for all stop-arm-related costs, paying current or retired Kansas law enforcement officers to verify the violations and educating the public on the dangers of passing stopped school buses.
Vehicle owners could appeal the ticket if the vehicle or license plate was stolen. If the fine is not paid, the department of education would inform the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles to refuse car registration or renewal until its paid.