INDIANAPOLIS | A reluctant House Roads and Transportation Committee agreed Thursday to advance a proposal for camera enforcement of school bus stop arm violations.
House Bill 1042, which now goes to the full House, authorizes public and private schools that operate bus fleets to contract with camera-enforcement companies to install cameras on school bus stop arms and photograph or videotape drivers failing to stop when the bus is picking up or dropping off children.
Evidence of an alleged stop-arm violation would be reviewed by a local police officer, who would issue a citation to the vehicle owner demanding payment of a civil fine of $300 for the first violation, $750 for the second within five years and $1,000 for a third violation.
The money would be divvied up among the camera company, schools and police.
The measure ultimately was approved 7-3 by the committee, though it took much longer than usual for a committee member to make a motion for approval. The mandatory seconding of the motion also was slow in coming.
Several of the members voting yes, including state Rep. Randy Frye, R-Greensburg, said they were willing to send the proposal to the full House, but may not support it on a final vote.
"I have serious reservations about this bill," Frye said. "It almost looks like someone is trying to make money with school corporations off of fear."
Federal statistics show a child being injured or killed due to a motorist ignoring a school bus stop arm is extremely rare.