Indiana SB 2 – School bus safety, increase of penalties, third-party enforcement
School bus safety, increase of penaltiesFull Bill Text
UPDATE May 1, 2019: Signed by House Speaker and Senate President; signed into law by Governor.
UPDATE March 25, 2019: Third reading in House, passed Roll Call 88 – 0.
UPDATE March 14, 2019: Courts & Criminal Committee report: amend do pass, adopted
UPDATE March 11, 2019: Committee hearing scheduled for March 13.
UPDATE February 26, 2019: Referred to House Courts & Criminal Code Committee
UPDATE February 20, 2019: Bill referred to House.
UPDATE February 18, 2019: SB 2 passed a third reading in the Senate by a vote of 49 to 0.
SB 2 was introduced to the State Senate on January 8, 2019. A February 6th roll call in the Judiciary Committee resulted in a 10 to 0 vote in favor of the bill.
The bill greatly increased fines for school bus violations and “provides that school corporations and nonpublic schools may enter into agreements with third parties to administer camera enforcement of school bus stop arm regulations.” For instance, a first violation of passing a school bus with stop arm extended is an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension. Other offenses are raised from current misdemeanors to felonies.
SB 2 cites no source that the greater penalties have resulted in greater bus safety. National evidence shows that school bus transportation is remarkably safe and to the degree that safety incidents affecting school children occur, bus drivers are statistically much more culpable than passing vehicles. Increasing fines is more a money maker — particularly when introducing for-profit camera companies into the process where the devices must issue tickets to earn their keep — than a deterrent. If Indiana legislators want to address school bus safety, their focus should be on the more significant safety problem issue of bus driver training/education.