School Bus Cams Proposed in Maryland

Bill targets drivers who fail to stop for school buses

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Is this bus watching you?

    Smile, the next time you drive past a stopped school bus that has flashing red lights, you could be on candid school bus cam.

    Increasing numbers of drivers are apparently either in too big a hurry, are too distracted, or just don’t bother to stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students. So several Maryland state lawmakers are working to put the brakes on those drivers, the Frederick News-Post reported.

    Six of the lawmakers are from Frederick County, where public school officials had asked for their own bus cams. However, the county delegation decided what was good for Frederick would be good for the state.

    “I don’t have any forgiveness for anybody that runs past a school bus with lights flashing,” said Sen. David Brinkley (R-Frederick), who co-sponsored a bill along with Delegate Paul Stull (R-Frederick).

    Under the bill, drivers caught red-handed by school bus cameras would face a $100 fine. Brinkley said he’d like that raised to $500. He also thinks offending motorists should be forced to make a court appearance.

    However, not everyone wants to put the pedal to the metal on this proposal. Two county lawmakers, Delegate Joseph Bartlett (R-Frederick) and Senator Alex Mooney (R-Frederick), said it’s a bad idea.

    “I’ve been railing against speed cameras and red-light cameras, and then I’m going to co-sponsor another type of camera? That doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Bartlett.

    Brinkley also opposed speed and red-light cameras, arguing that their primary purpose was to raise revenue, not protect the public.  He said he thinks this is different.

    School officials said they don’t want any proceeds generated by bus cams. They said they are more concerned about the dangers posed to students by  law-breaking drivers.

    The Maryland House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee will hold a hearing on school bus cameras March 9.