Currently, 22 states have laws allowing school districts to install stop-arm cameras on school buses to catch motorists illegally passing the vehicle, but new Kentucky legislation could increase that number.
Kentucky House Bill 189, introduced at the start of the new year, allows school districts to equip their buses with stop-arm cameras to record motorists who illegally pass the school bus when it is stopped with its stop-arm extended and red flashing lights activated. The bill, which passed the House on Feb. 25, authorizes school districts to install the cameras themselves or to partner with a private vendor to do so on behalf of the district.
It also allows counties to authorize a civil penalty for a stop-arm camera violation for the owner of the vehicle. The civil penalty cannot exceed $300 for a first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense occurring within a three-year period.
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HB 189 states that all generated revenue shall be retained by the county unless the fine is a result of action taken in the Court of Justice, in which court costs may be deducted from the total amount. It also states that a stop-arm camera violation shall not result in points being assessed against the driving record of the owner or the operator of the vehicle.