Earlier this month, the Maine Senate passed Senate Bill 166, which allows for additional enforcement and prevention options for unlawful passing of a school bus.
The bill, sponsored by eight senators and representatives, states that traffic surveillance cameras can be mounted on a school bus to prove or enforce a motorist illegally passed a school bus. The bill also states that the footage received from the mounted cameras is confidential, and may only be released to law enforcement officials when an infraction has taken place.
The footage, however, cannot be retained by the state or a municipality for more than 30 days, unless it is used to open an investigation.
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The bill was enacted on June 10 after being introduced on January 17, 2019.
SB 166 also allows school buses to deploy stop-arms or extended stop-arms when the red lights are flashing. The extended stop-arm, when activated, is permitted to extend 3 to 6 feet outward from the left side of the school bus.
SB 166 does not increase the fine for illegally passing a school bus, but it does allow cameras to be mounted and used to enforce or open an investigation into a school bus passing violation.
To view the other 18 states that have laws allowing school districts to install video surveillance cameras on school buses, visit: stnonline.com/go/5d.