New law to reduce illegal school bus passing takes effect

Police can now write tickets from video
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT
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MASON, Mich. (WILX) - Police officers no longer have to physically witness people illegally passing school buses.

A new law in effect Monday allows officers to watch videos captured from outside the bus to write tickets for people who don’t stop for the stop arm.

“Law enforcement can’t follow every single school bus every single stop every single day. This is another way we can hold people accountable,” said Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth.

This is something Katie Gavrilides would like to see.

She said a car passed her daughters’ bus Monday afternoon.

“Luckily my daughters are right at my driveway,” said Gavrilides. “My daughter was actually off in my driveway and the car came and just blew right past and didn’t even slow down.”

Gavrilides said she can’t believe people would be so careless around school buses.

“Twice now since August we’ve had cars pass our bus. Just watching someone doing that knowing there are children getting off the bus and not carrying enough to stop,” said Gavrilides.

Gavrilides’ kids go to Mason Public Schools, which already has exterior cameras under the stop arm.

Wrigglesworth said hopefully deputies won’t need to review the video.

“If the camera system catches someone actually running the school bus, that’s a good thing on the enforcement side, but a bad thing on the public safety side,” said Wrigglesworth.

“The fact it’s happened twice at my house this year alone is distressing, but I wish it was more surprising,” said Gavrilides.

In 2019, more than 508 drivers passed 1,373 Michigan school buses in a single day. That’s the last time a national survey was done.

Gavrilides hopes now more people will stop for the school bus.

“If you’re going to intentionally pass a stopped school bus with their sign out and lights flashing, you are risking the life of the child that’s getting off that bus. You should financially be held responsible for it,” said Gavrilides.

Anyone caught illegally passing a school bus can be fined up to $500.

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