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their old habits. “After the incident up north, I drove a bus the next day and noticed that


for about a day, people paid attention. Then that went by the wayside,” McK- inney said.


School bus drivers around the state reported 2,530 stop arm violations on April 23 for a survey that was sponsored by the Indiana Department of


Education. McKinney said his district counted 87 violations. “Essentially, we look at the neces-


sity for harsher penalties and fines as a way to raise awareness,” McK- inney observed. “The tragedy that happened up north altered behavior in our district for a short time, then it went back to the same.” The results of similar one-day


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surveys from around the country are no better. This year, Arkansas bus drivers reported 884 violations, while Minnesota bus drivers reported 2,360 violations in one day. Maryland recorded 3,384 violations on a single day in 2017. A new state law went into effect this month that increases the maximum fine for illegal passers to $500 per incident. In New York, which just passed a


law to allow stop-arm cameras, an estimated 50,000 violations occur each day. In response, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged his support, but at this report, the bill had yet to be signed into law. In May, Oklahoma became the 18th


state to authorize stop-arm cameras and ticket enforcement programs. And an increasing number of states, such as Utah, allow local school district ordinances to implement the technology. However, a bill in Texas would ban


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34 School Transportation News • JULY 2019


stop-arm cameras. One opponent of the technology who represents a statewide association was quoted as saying the cameras are unconsti- tutional, and there weren’t enough crashes to justify their use. Nichols said he sees no downside to using the cameras. “The up- side is the cameras begin to shape community behavior,” Nichols said. “Where positive community behaviors exist, laws are largely un- necessary. Where positive behaviors do not exist, laws are unenforceable. That is what’s happening now, be- cause running stop arms is already against the law.” ●


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