Indiana SB 2 – School bus safety, increase of penalties, third-party enforcement
School bus safety, increase of penaltiesFull Bill Text
SB2 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.