(WXYZ) — Two new laws go into effect today in Michigan to help schools keep children safe while on the bus.
The first makes it easier to ticket drivers who blow through the school bus' extended stop arm. Previously, police had to actually witness a car blow through a bus stop arm sign in order to give a ticket.
Under the new law, drivers can now be ticketed using exterior cameras on buses. Some schools already have the cameras, while others are now looking into the investment because of the new law.
“We are definitely looking to invest in these cameras, they’ll create an awareness and again they’ll hold people responsible,” said Walled Lake Superintendent Ken Gutman.
“This rule, we hope, will increase enforcement, wake people up and we will see fewer instances of those stop arms getting run,” said Rep. Jack O’Malley, Chair of the House Transportation Committee.
O’Malley helped pass the law, along with another law stating people cannot walk onto a school bus without permission.
“It always happened at the school building. You try to go to your child’s elementary school and get in, you got to ring in and tell them who you are, they gotta buzz to let you in, why- safety,” said O’Malley.
The same idea will now apply to the bus. There will now be a no trespassing sign on the door of the bus.
According to the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation, these two laws have been three years in the making, working alongside O’Malley to get them passed.
“Kids are our most precious cargo, our most precious resources, we want to keep them safe,” said Executive Director for Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation David Meeuwsen.
If a driver is caught blowing a stop sign, or if a person steps onto a bus without permission, both offenses carry a fine of up to $500.