State Rep. Robert Goforth (R-East Bernstadt) prefiled legislation (BR 136) that would require the installation of stop-arm cameras on all Kentucky school buses by August 1, 2023. The law would impose a $200 fine on violators for a first offense, and a $500 for a second or greater offense within a three-year period.
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According to a 2018 survey by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), over 20% of school bus drivers in 38 states, plus the District of Columbia, found that nearly 83,944 vehicles passed 108,623 buses illegally on a single day last school year. That number increased from just over 78,000 vehicles in 2017 and over 74,000 in 2016.
In-state statistics show that illegal passing is a problem in practically every county and school district in Kentucky.
As school districts, working with local law enforcement and prosecutors, attempt to catch and identify motorists who illegally pass buses, they can turn to a variety of stop-arm camera system suppliers, which offer devices that not only capture an image of the violation but make compiling and submitting evidence easier. Some suppliers provide districts the option of leasing the equipment in exchange for collecting a percentage of the fines recovered from enforcing the violations, essentially at no up-front costs to the districts.
“This bill protects Kentucky’s children and holds reckless drivers accountable for their actions—I think it is something that all Kentuckians can get behind,” said Goforth.