Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed several bills into law aimed at further increasing school bus safety, one of which permits the use of school bus stop-arm cameras.
House Bill 4202, which was signed into law on Wednesday, allows school buses to be equipped with a stop-arm camera system that provides video or photo evidence of a motorist who illegally passes a stopped school bus.
Meanwhile, House Bill 4204 adds that school districts that decide to equip buses can either install and operate the systems themselves or enter into a contract with a private vendor.
Also signed into law by Whitmer on July 1 are House Bills 4201 and 4203, which increase the penalties for individuals entering a school bus without permission and amends what is allowed to be painted on a school bus.
HB 4201 states an unauthorized person entering a school bus without the permission of the school bus driver, can be charged with a civil infraction and may have to pay a fine of no more than $500.
HB 4203 amends is the messaging that is allowed to be painted on a school bus and permits a sticker to be attached to the left side of the service door between the bottom of the window and the black rub rails. The bill states that the sticker must read as follows: “An unauthorized person attempting to board or boarding this school bus is subject to citation for a civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $500.00.”
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“For families across our state, the safety of their children is paramount,” said Rep. Jack O’Malley, who co-sponsored all four bills. “We have heard many stories of tragedies that occurred on buses or while children are in the process of getting on or getting off a bus. These reforms strengthen enforcement. They make it clear that if you run through a stop sign a bus is displaying, you will be seen. They make it clear that you must respect the bus and the individual operating it. These measures will keep kids safer and give parents more peace of mind when they are entrusting their children to an entity besides themselves.”