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South Carolina bill for school bus cameras advances to House

In South Carolina, a bill was introduced by a senator and then largely ignored for a few months, stalling out in the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill, which is known as SB 718, is aimed at utilizing cameras on the stop-arms that school buses use to tell other cars to stop while they are unloading or picking up children. Under this bill, if violations were caught on camera, the police could then use that to track down the drivers and prosecute them.

As the law stands currently, an officer has to see a motorist break these laws in person if they are going to give them a ticket.

The senator who proposed the bill initially was able to drum up some more interest in it recently, though, when he brought in pictures from an accident scene. In the crash, a 24-year-old driver did not stop when a school bus stopped in front of her, attempting to go around it instead. A student from Gaffney High School, who is 15, got off of the bus and was hit by the car.

The pictures shows just how drastic the impact was. The girl's shoes are shown where they are lying in the street. Her backpack is also shown, and it was flung all the way up onto the top of the bus. The girl is still in intensive care.

Senators were apparently moved by the photos, and they passed SB 718 through to the House.

This bill could be huge for traffic defense cases, as it would change the way in which law enforcement could give out citations, even when there are not accidents. No longer would officers have to be present, and images alone could be used by the prosecution if this turns into a law.

Source:  School Transportation News, "S.C. Bill Allowing Stop-Arm Cameras to Catch School Bus Scofflaws Advances After Accident" Michelle Fisher, May. 27, 2014

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