GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two new laws are going into effect Monday in Michigan to help schools keep children safe while on the bus.
The first part of the law will make it easier for police to ticket drivers who blow through school bus extended stop arms. Under the new law, drivers can now be ticketed with video evidence.
Sgt. Dan Adams of the Grand Rapids Police Department said police are working together with the school systems and private bus companies to hold violators accountable. He said they will do whatever it takes to make the process simple.
Adams said the overall goal is to promote safe driving and to make sure kids and their bus drivers are safe.
"This is kind of a no-brainer," said Adams. "When the bus is on, nobody can say they didn't see it. They've got plenty of lights, and when that stop sign comes out from the side of the bus and flashes.
"There's no reason you don't see that and there's nothing that you're going to, that is more important than the safety of those children getting on and off that bus."
Todd Sharp, the director of transportation for the Forest Hills School District, echoed Stg. Dan Adams and said the goal is to keep everyone safe on the roadways; he explained how this new law will do just that.
"There will be a camera mounted on the bus, and it actually gives video footage," said Sharp. "It takes a snapshot of the shoulder up of the person driving the vehicle it also takes a snapshot of the back portion of the vehicle and also gets the license plates.
"It [takes] the question out of who this person was and everything that goes into an investigation when a vehicle goes past a stopped school bus."
Drivers who blow past a stopped school bus when its stop sign is activated can face a citation up to $500.
Lastly, the second part of the law is aimed at preventing angry parents or other motorists from entering a school bus without the bus driver's permission.
They could also face fines of up to $500.
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