FRANKFORT, Ky. — A bill that aims to stop drivers from illegally passing school buses has moved ahead in the Kentucky Legislature.
Under House Bill 189, Kentucky school districts could put camera systems on school buses to record vehicles that pass illegally while students are getting on or off.
Rep. David Hale (R - Wellington) said the goal is to hold drivers accountable.
“I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone that would do such a dangerous act as this and put our most vulnerable people at risk, our children," Hale said from the House floor Thursday. “It is estimated that each year across the United States of America that there are literally tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of violations that occur when a school bus is actually stopped."
According to the bill, drivers could face a fine of no more than $300 for the first offense and up to $500 for the next. They could contest the violation.
Rep. Bill Wesley (R - Ravenna) co-sponsored the bill.
“I believe that when this is intact, that it’s going to bring fear upon people, that they’re going to be more aware not to take the risk of just like running a red light, they’re not going to pass a school bus,” he said.
According to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), three Indiana students were killed in 2018 after a driver failed to stop for the school bus.
The NTSB recommended that dozens of states, including Kentucky “enact legislation to permit stop arm cameras on school buses.”
Hale said the bill was not a mandate and that school districts could opt in. Money from the citations could go to the cost of the cameras, he said.
The bill passed the House with bipartisan support, 92-3, and moves to the Senate.