Another anti-driver idea to ticket safe drivers involves automated school bus stop-arm cameras (SB 1098) that ticket drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
SB 1098 should be voted down.
School bus transportation is safer than ever, and rare illegal passing seldom causes student deaths. Today, bus drivers can report illegal passing, and there are in-bus surveillance cameras, which can be shown to police. Companies make stop-arm extenders that block the next lane, as well as extra stop-arms.
Many roadway configurations are confusing, so it is not always obvious when you need to stop, you may not see the school bus and may not be able to safely stop.
You may be nowhere near a school bus, but still be required to stop. In addition, state law requires stopping when a school bus is on an intersecting road, which should be immediately repealed.
These are real tickets. One problem is that the driver is not identified and assumed to be the vehicle’s owner. There is not even a minimal amount of flashing yellow light time mandated. Certain roads should have longer yellows, too. These will likely be split-second tickets for being near a school bus. What if you stop too closely?
Add school bus stop-arm cameras to the list of red-light cameras, speed cameras and municipal police radar as predatory devices to steal safe drivers’ money. Time tested solutions like best-practice highway engineering will solve safety problems on roads and intersections – for free. Enforcement should be reserved for the less than 5 percent of drivers actually causing accidents and unsafe conditions.
Tom McCarey Member
National Motorists Association