Four Michigan House Bills introduced in February aim to increase student safety by authorizing penalties for those entering a school bus without authorization and allowing the use of school bus stop-arm camera systems.
House Bill 4201 amends The Pupil Transportation Act and states that an individual other than an authorized person shall not enter a school bus without the permission of the school bus driver. It adds that a person shall not impede the progress of the operation of a school bus.
An individual who is found in violation is responsible for a civil infraction and may be fined no more than $500.
House Bill 4303 amends what 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.”
Meanwhile, House Bill 4202 states that a school bus may be equipped with a stop-arm camera system. Schools who choose to use the stop-arm camera shall provide video or photo evidence of an illegal passing incident if requested by a law enforcement agency.
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House Bill 4204 states that schools who decide to equip buses with a stop-arm camera system can either install and operate the stop-arm camera themselves or enter into a contract with a private vendor to install and operate the systems. The system must be capable of capturing images of the vehicle passing the stopped school bus, the registration plate on the rear of the vehicle, and a distance of no less than 200 feet in front of the school bus as well as contain records of the data, time and location of when the image was taken.
All bills passed the House in April and have since been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation And Infrastructure.