Drivers who go past a stopped school bus should beware: some of these buses now come with hi-tech eyes.
Select independent school districts (ISDs) in Texas are installing cameras on school buses to catch drivers violating school bus traffic stop laws. Among the latest to adopt the practice is the Austin ISD, which has equipped 30 of its fleet of 500 school buses with such cameras for a dry run. KXAN’s Patrick Tolbert reports that these cameras are showing some promise.
“Video from a test program shows up to six cars driving past a bus with its stop arm extended; a violation of state law.
The district says the cameras, part of a pilot program, have captured an average of 60 violations per day where drivers illegally passing school buses.”
Several ISDs in and around Dallas already have camera-equipped school buses since 2012. A report says one school bus has caught a staggering 21 violations.
HB 1174, signed into law in 2013, is Texas’s premiere law regulating the illegal passing of stopped school buses. The offense is considered a misdemeanor, and carries fines ranging from $500 to $1,250, although some cities and towns are known to have first-offense fines of as low as $300. A second-offense fine ranges between $1,000 and $2,000; however, some local ordinances peg the amount to as low as $600.
If the violation causes serious injury, it will be categorized as a Class-A misdemeanor, which slaps a $4,000 fine or jail time of up to one year, or both. A second offense of the same nature can result in a state jail felony charge which merits a $10,000 fine or jail time of between 6 months and 2 years, or both.
Overtaking a stopped school bus is not a capital offense, so a violator in Bedford can obtain Bedford, TX bail bonds to post bail. The amount of bail depends on county regulations in accordance with Chapter 1704 of the Texas Occupations Code. Bail bonds, however, come with a cost which is usually ten percent of the bail amount.
Posting bail allows the accused freedom from jail while the case is being processed. This gives them breathing space, and allows them to remain with family and friends who can offer support through the process. It also helps the accused to better prepare for their day in court. Bail bonds from Bedford, TX services like Just Bail Bonds make the process more affordable and efficient for everyone.
(Source: Drivers beware: school buses are watching you, KXAN, May 30, 2014)