SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The California Legislature will decide whether to equip every bus and child care car or van with a video system in an effort to cut down on bullying on school buses and the number of drivers who do not stop for school buses.
Under Assembly Bill 934, all school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and child care motor vehicles would need to have internal video systems. Several states have cameras on-board buses and have found them an effective way to stop bullying and vandalism, according to the bill’s author Asm. Mike Gipson (D- 64th District). The bus drivers and school administrators would also be able to monitor student activity, record when students get on and off the bus, and prevent false claims from being made.
The bill also requires school buses that have a stop signal arm to have an external video system in order to record drivers who don’t stop when a school bus is stopped.
School administrators would monitor the video systems and report any violations to local law enforcement. Drivers found violating the new law would be fined. School districts would get a portion of those fines.
Senate Bill 371 was also introduced Wednesday. It calls for school districts to install and operate external video cameras to catch drivers breaking the law. The videos would record a car’s make, model, color, and license plate but would not be able to include driver or passenger faces. School buses would also need to post signs stating “STOP WHEN LIGHTS ARE FLASHING – IT’S THE LAW” and “VIDEO ENFORCED STOP”.
SB 371 would also require districts to install an extended secondary stop signal arm on buses that are driven on two-lane highways and rural highways. The arms would need to extend between 3 and 6 feet from the side of the bus.
Drivers are required to come to a complete stop as they approach, or drive behind, any school bus that is stopped and displays a flashing red light signal and stop signal arm. Drivers can now go until the red lights stop flashing and the stop signal arm is no longer down.