Lawmakers push bill to put cameras on school bus stop signs
CAPITAL REGION -- Disturbing footage explains why it's illegal to pass a school bus.
A video shows a student walking off, and crossing the street. Moments later as she goes out of frame, and a speeding car comes flying by striking the teenager.
The entire time, the bus is stopped, with its lights on and sign out.
Luckily the victim survived.
If a group of state lawmakers get their way, videos like these will be available every time a car passes a bus.
Assemblyman Pete Lopez supports the bill.
"They treat the school bus as if it's an object. They forget there's flesh and blood precious cargo on board," Lopez said.
The legislation would put a camera on the stop sign attached to the bus.
At a news conference today, Assemblyman John McDonald explained how the cameras would work.
"Camera images will take a picture of the front and the back of the car, in other words not the one who's driving," McDonald said
The bi-partisan bill was first introduced last session.
Assemblyman Phil Steck, supports the idea, but is concerned about funding cameras for every school bus.
"I don't want to pass a bill that isn't appropriately funded and has made promises to the schools," Steck said.
Steck also questions statistics. A survey done last month by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation found more than 33,128 motorists passed a school bus in a single day on April 13th.
The research included a pool of New York bus drivers and teacher's aides April 13th.
"Are people passing school buses on a massive scale that would create a substantial amount of revenue? I'd like to see research," Steck said.
The funding aspect of the legislation still has to be worked out.
For now, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle can agree, the videos that exist now are proof something's got to change.
"If someone is hurt, someone is killed, how can we go to a parent and say we failed them we can't do that," Lopez said.