A bipartisan plan led by state Rep. Jack O’Malley to keep kids safe in and around school buses was overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday by the Michigan House.
House Bills 4201-04 crack down on people who board buses without permission and allow the courts to prosecute drivers who put children in danger. O’Malley has been a strong and consistent advocate for shoring up safety measures, having originally introduced the plans in his first term representing Michigan’s 101st House District.
“When parents drop or send their kids off for the bus stop every day, they are trusting that their child will be protected,” said the second-term lawmaker from Lake Ann. “Over the years, we’ve heard many stories of tragedies that occurred on buses or while children are boarding or exiting a bus. These are sensible reforms that underscore safety.”
The proposals will:
- Allow stop-arm cameras to be installed on buses. Video or photography would be allowed as evidence for law enforcement prosecuting vehicles that illegally pass a school bus. Corresponding legislation will spell out other specifications for any camera usage.
- Set a penalty for boarding a school bus without permission of the driver as a civil infraction, which is punishable by a fine up to $500. A civil infraction penalty for impeding the progress or operation of a school bus will also be established.
- Allow a sticker to be affixed to the side of a bus stating that unauthorized individuals attempting to board are subject to a civil infraction and fine.
House Bills 4201-04, which previously advanced with overwhelming bipartisan support through the House Judiciary Committee, now move to the Senate for further consideration.
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