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Keeping kids safe: Local lawmakers support school bus stop arm cameras

March 13, 2018 07:38 AM

It's a shocking statistic -- every day more than 50,000 people illegally pass school buses in New York State.

In the 2018-19 state budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo allows districts to install school bus arm cameras which would catch people who break the law. The governor also calls for an increase fines for those violations.

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The state Senate included the cameras in its budget, but the Assembly did not.

News10NBC reached out to every Assembly member in our area and everyone who responded was in favor of the cameras, but they have one concern: how will the state fund this?

Director of Transportation for East Irondequoit Kathleen Callon says every day hundreds of people ignore the school bus signs and illegally breeze past them every day in her school district

"They're in their own little world and they have places to go and they don't follow the law," said Callon. "They don't think about the fact that by passing that bus they are at risk of hitting a child."

Peter Mannella, executive director of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, has been pushing this for nearly a decade.

"There's a lot of things we invest in for safety equipment on school buses," said Mannella. "This would be one that frankly has a return. It's going to pay for itself. "

Manenella says the cameras would be paid for and enforced by a private vendor, and a percentage would go back to the district after the vendor gets its cut.

"At some level, it doesn't have to cost anything," said Mannella. 

Callon says the time is now to protect the students.

"Hopefully with additional tickets being written people will realize it's important to stop for school buses once again."

Mannella is now trying to convince Assembly members to make this a priority,

If you want to see these cameras happen, Mannella suggests you call your local lawmakers and tell them you want these stop cameras included in their budget.

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