Maryland HB 343 – Repealing the June 30, 2019, termination date for a provision of law that increased from $250 to $500 the civil penalty for a violation recorded by a school bus monitoring camera
Repealing the June 30, 2019, termination date for a provision of law that increased from $250 to $500 the civil penalty for a violation recorded by a school bus monitoring camera for failure to stop for a school vehicle operating alternately flashing red lights.Full Bill Text
UPDATE April 3, 2019: Third reading in Senate passed 44-1. Returned passed to House.
UPDATE March 5, 2019: Passed third reading in House 135 -1 and referred to Senate.
UPDATE February 28, 2019: Favorable report from the House Environment & Technology Committee.
HB 343 was introduced to the Maryland House on January 28, 2019 and referred to the Environment & Technology Committee. The Committee set an initial hearing date of February 14, 2019.
The bill extends increased fines for school bus violations by terminating a June 2019 provision that would end the temporary $250 to $500 fine increase. HB 343 cites no evidence that the higher fines have resulted in greater bus safety. National evidence shows that school bus transportation is remarkably safe and to the degree that safety incidents occur, bus drivers are generally more culpable than passing vehicles.
Keeping camera fines high is a money maker more than a deterrent, and doesn’t address the more significant safety issue of bus driver training/education.