STOP! New state law could make it easier to catch drivers passing stopped school buses

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The most dangerous part of a school bus rid is when the bus stops to load or unload students, but the Alabama School Bus Safety Act is aiming to change that.

It took effect July 1, just in time for school districts to discuss it before the next school and fiscal year.

The law is similar to one passed in 2014, which allowed school systems to equip their buses with automated traffic cameras.

The 2016 version of the law takes it one stop further, though. The images recorded on the automated traffic cameras would then be reviewed by law enforcement or a trained technician. They would take down license plate numbers of those caught violating the law and send them a $300 citation for each offense in the mail.

The fine is double the previous $150 ticket for a first offense and it removes much of the red tape for those looking to report issues.

The law also states that there will be ways to contest the citation.

WHNT News 19 spoke with a veteran of school transportation and he told us that while the law has good intentions, money will ultimately determine whether a school system can utilize this new program.

As the new school year approaches, here is a reminder about those school bus safety laws:

  •  A flashing red light and extended stop sign means no matter which direction you're heading, you have to stop at least 20 feet away from the bus.
  • With a two-lane or four-lane road without a median, traffic from both directions have to stop.
  • If there is a median in a two-lane or four-lane DIVIDED highway, only the traffic following the bus, or next to it, is obligated to stop.
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