State School Bus Stop-Arm Camera Laws

10/15/2019

School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras

A growing number of states are attempting to catch and punish motorists who pass stopped school buses by allowing cameras to be placed on the outside of the bus to record such illegal passing. At least 21 states have school bus stop-arm camera laws.

In 2019, Indiana, Maine, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee authorized localities or school districts to use school bus stop-arm cameras. Pennsylvania did so in 2018, and in the 2017 legislative session, Arkansas and Utah passed legislation to allow school bus stop-arm cameras. In 2016, Alabama enacted a law allowing for exterior school bus cameras, expanding a program initially created in 2015 in Mobile County. In the 2014 legislative session, South Carolina and Wyoming enacted such laws. In the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington enacted such measures.

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School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras
State
Statute
Summary Fine Revenue Dedicated to whom? Authorized Locality Warning sign required if operating an on bus camera? Private Vendors Allowed? Privacy Safeguards

Alabama
Ala. Code § 16-27A-1, et seq.;

SB 215 (2016)

Any board of education or governing body of a school system may approve the use of electronic devices to detect school bus violations. 

40% to the governing body which contracted for the program, 40% to the school system where the offense was committed, 10% to State Department of Education for school bus safety initiatives, 10% to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency

Any school board may authorize without the involvement of the governing body or sheriff

N/A

Yes

Images cannot contain the face of driver or passengers in the vehicle. Images must be destroyed within 90 days of recording if they do not identify a violation

Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 6-19-131, as created by HB 1144 (2017)

Allows the installation and operation of an automated school bus safety camera

N/A

Public school district or open-enrollment public charter school

N/A

Yes

N/A

Arkansas
A.C.A. § 6-19-125

Safety Equipment Grant Pilot Program – grants for video recording devices are awarded to school districts based on the high incident of violations and other factors. The recording device captures the motor vehicle, operator of the vehicle and the license plate.

N/A

A school district through grants from the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation.

N/A

N/A

N/A

Connecticut
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-279 § 14-279a and

§ 14-279b

 

Local boards of education may install, operate and maintain live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring systems.

A warning sign shall be posted on all school buses in which a monitoring system is installed and operational indicating the use of such system.

A monitoring system shall be installed so as to record images of the license plate number of a motor vehicle only, and shall not record images of the occupants of such motor vehicle or of any other persons or vehicles in the vicinity at the time the images are recorded.

12% to the Special Transportation Fund.

8% to the state General Fund.

Remainder to be remitted to the municipalities after any reimbursement to the private vendor.

 

A municipality or local or regional board of education

Yes

Private vendors may be contracted with for the installation, operation and maintenance of monitoring systems.

Shall not record images of the occupants

Shall not record images of any other persons or vehicles

Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-163

School districts are allowed to install and operate a video recording device mounted on a school bus with a clear view of vehicles passing the bus on either side and showing the date and time the recording was made and an electronic symbol showing the activation of amber lights, flashing red lights, stop arms, and brakes.

N/A

A school system may enter into an intergovernmental agreement with a local governing authority.

N/A

N/A

Images shall not be public record.

Illinois
Ill. Ann. Stat. 625 ch. 5, §11-208(i)

Authorizes a municipality or county to create an ordinance that would implement an “automated traffic law enforcement system” for the purpose of catching violators of state or local traffic laws involving approaching, overtaking and passing a school bus.

Divided equally between the school district and the municipality or county.

School districts, upon approval by the school board, may implement the program if a municipality or county enacts an ordinance providing for automated traffic law enforcement systems.

Yes, and municipalities, counties and school districts must give public notice of their use of school bus monitoring.

School districts may contract with vendors for installation, maintenance, and operation.

Images are confidential.

Illinois
Ill. Ann. Stat. 625 ch. 5, §11-208.9

Creates a framework for the implementation and operation of an “automated traffic law enforcement system”. Establishes conditions as to the type and number of photos or videos to be taken; establishes standards for the storing of digital records; creates requirements for notification to the public of “automated traffic law enforcement systems”; creates a process for citizens to challenge a charge of violation; sets limits of penalties for citations given by the systems.

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Indiana
Ind. Code § 9-21-12-21 and 575 Ind. Admin. Code § 1-9-14

SB 2 (2019)

 

Authorizes public, charter and private schools with at least 1 employee to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus.

75% to the state user fee fund.

25% to local government.  
 

Public, charter and private schools with at least 1 employee.

N/A

N/A

N/A

Maine
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., Title 29A, § 2117

LD 166 (2019)

 

Authorizes the state and its municipalities to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus.

N/A

Yes

Yes

N/A

Image and audio recordings are considered confidential and may only be released to law enforcement, defendant or prosecution. The state or a municipality may not retain a photograph, microphotograph, videotape or
other recorded image or audio produced by a traffic surveillance camera mounted on a school bus for more than 30 days from the date of production unless it is released in
accordance with this subsection.

Maryland
Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. §7-302 and §10-311

Authorizes a recorded image taken by a school bus monitoring camera to be used in proceedings for a civil citation for the violation of state laws concerning the passing of school vehicles.

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Maryland
Md. Transportation Code Ann. §21-706.1

Authorizes a school bus monitoring camera to be used in conjunction with school bus driver reporting of traffic violations. Establishes conditions as to the type and number of photos or videos to be taken; sets requirements for the notification of violations; creates a process for citizens to challenge a charge of violation; sets limits of penalties for citations due to camera recordings.

After covering costs of the program any remaining balance may be used solely for public safety purposes, including pedestrian safety programs.

The Comptroller shall deposit any money remaining  to the General Fund of the State

If authorized by the governing body of the local jurisdiction, a law enforcement agency, in consultation with the county board of education, may place school bus monitoring cameras on county school buses.

N/A

N/A

N/A

Mississippi
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-41-59

Authorizes every school district to mount a camera on a retractable, hand-operated stop sign that is part of the school bus

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

New York
N.Y. (Vehicle and Traffic) Law § 1174A

AB 4950/SB 4524

 

Authorizes counties, cities, towns or villages located within a school district to enact local laws or ordinances establishing a school bus camera demonstration program to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus. 

90% to counties.

10% to cities, towns or villages.
 

County, city, town or village may enter into an agreement with a school district. 

Yes.
Installation of signage at each roadway entrance of the jurisdictional boundaries of such county, city, town or village giving notice that school
   bus photo violation monitoring systems are used to enforce restrictions
on vehicles illegally passing a school bus. 

N/A

Localities must adopt and enforce measures to protect the identity and identifying information.  Photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, other recorded images
and data produced by school bus photo violation monitoring systems shall be destroyed (A) ninety days after the date of the alleged imposition of liability if a notice of liability is not issued for such alleged imposition of liability pursuant to this section or upon final disposition of a notice of liability issued pursuant to this section.   

North Carolina
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-217

Authorizes automated camera and video recording systems to be used to detect and prosecute violations.

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Oklahoma
Okla. Stat. Ann. § 11-705

HB 1926 (2019)

 

Authorizes school districts to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus. 

75% to the state, deposited in the “Cameras for School Bus Stops Revolving Fund, and the State Board of Education shall award one or more grants annually from the Fund if money is available, to public school districts in the state.  The grants shall be used by the districts for the installation of camera equipment on buses. 25% to law enforcement, where the violation occurred. 

School districts.

No

Yes

N/A

Pennsylvania
Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 75 § 3345, et seq. as created by SB 1098 (2018)

A School Entity, subject to the vote of the local board of school directors, may install and operate a side stop signal arm enforcement system for the purposes of enforcing provisions relating to meeting or overtaking a school bus. 

A fine of $250, plus a surcharge of $35. The $35 surcharge must be deposited in the school bus safety grant program account.

“School Entity” - A school district, area vocational-technical school, intermediate unit, charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school. 

No

A school entity may enter into an agreement with a private vendor or manufacturer to provide a side stop sign arm enforcement system.

Images obtained through the use of a side stop sign arm enforcement system shall be destroyed within a year of final disposition of the recorded event and the vendor shall notify the school entity that the records have been destroyed. Registered vehicle owner information obtained is not the property or manufacturer or vendor of the system and may not be used for any purpose other than prescribed. 

Rhode Island
R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-51-2

School departments are authorized to install digital video school bus violation detection monitoring systems.

75% to vendor

12.5% to state general fund

12.5% to the municipality where the violation occurred

All school departments

Yes

Yes

Images not public record

Must be destroyed within 24 hours if no violation  is identified

Must be destroyed after one year if involved with a violation.

South Carolina
S.C. Code Ann. §56-5-2770(D)(2) (2014 HB 5014)

Permits a school bus to be equipped with a video camera that records passing traffic. Cameras must have a digital timestamp and digital confirmation of the activation of visual flashing lights.

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

South Carolina
§56-5-2773 (2014 HB 5014)

A uniform traffic citation may be issued based on the digital recording from such a video camera.

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Tennessee
Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-151

HB 268/SB 205 (2019)

 

Authorizes local education agencies to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus. 

100% to local education agencies.

Local education agencies.

N/A

Yes

N/A

Utah
Utah Code Ann. §§ 41-6a-1302, 41-6a-1310 HB 235 (2017)

Allows the use of automated traffic enforcement safety devices to captures photos or videos of vehicles unlawfully overtaking or passing a school bus

20% to a school district or private school that owns or contracts for the operation of the bus to offset the costs of the automated traffic enforcement safety device, 40% to the treasurer of the state or local governmental entity that prosecutes or that would prosecute the violation, and 40% to the General Fund

School district or private school

N/A

N/A

The State Board of Education may make rules to address student privacy concerns that may arise from the use of an automated traffic enforcement safety device

Virginia
Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-844

A local ordinance may authorize the school district to install and operate a video-monitoring system in or on the school buses.

Local school division

Locality may authorize school divisions to install cameras

N/A

School division may choose to allow vendor to operate.

N/A

Washington
Rev. Code Wash. § 46.63.180

§ 46.61.370

 

School districts are allowed to install and operate automated school bus safety cameras to detect violations of drivers that overtake and pass stopped school buses. Automated school bus safety cameras may only take pictures of the vehicle and vehicle license plate and only while an infraction is occurring.

Infractions detected through the use of the automated school bus safety camera do not go on the driver’s record.

School districts for school zone safety projects and school bus safety projects; minus any administrative and operational expenses

Vote by the board of directors of a school district

N/A

Just for installation and maintenance

Picture must not reveal the face of the driver or passengers; not open to the public; may not be retained longer than necessary to enforce a violation

West Virginia
W. Va. Code § 17C-12-7

Every county board of education is authorized to mount a camera on any school bus for the purpose of enforcing this section or for any other lawful purpose.

N/A

County board of education

N/A

N/A

N/A

Wyoming
Wyo. Stat.§ 21-3-131 and § 31-5-507

Requires every school bus to be equipped with an external video system and authorizes the use of an internal video system. Specifies that recordings or images from a video system are not public records, may be entered into evidence and are discoverable for other criminal actions. States that recordings and images of a video system shall be “prima facie” evidence of the facts contained in it for adjudication purposes. Additionally, specifies that the registered owned is responsible for a $195 fine if the driver cannot be determined.

N/A

All school districts

N/A

N/A

Recordings and images shall not be public records. Additionally, must be deleted within 1-year of the date the recording was made.