New law allows Alabama school districts to install stop sign cameras on school buses
A new law in Alabama is aimed at making it safer for students getting on and off the school bus.
The Alabama School Bus Safety Act took effect July first. It allows school systems the option of putting cameras on school buses to enforce the stop signs.
Hueytown Mayor Delor Baumann drives for the Jefferson County School System.
He says not everybody pays attention when he puts the stop sign out.
"They're either talking on the phone, texting, putting makeup on," Baumann explained.
Those distractions are creating safety concerns.
"I've stopped children from crossing, got their attention because I saw a car that came up behind me," Baumann said. "Then, the car went by and kept on going. It actually passed me and ran the stop sign I was sitting at, so that's a double infraction."
The new law gives school systems the option of installing cameras to enforce the stop signs. If installed, drivers caught violating the law will be sent a $300 ticket.
Eighty percent of revenue would be split between the school board and the city or county it is in, with the remaining portion split between the state Department of Education and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
"It's a situation where if Jefferson County saw it fit to do that, had the financial arrangements, it would be a smart thing to do," said Baumann.
Clay Mayor Charles Webster also drives a school bus. His is for special needs students.
Webster tells ABC 33-40 he also supports installing cameras. A car passes his stop sign just about every day.
ABC 33/40 is checking to see which school districts may take advantage of the new law.
Birmingham School Board President Wardine Alexander says she would love Birmingham to install the cameras and it will be discussed during the budget talks happening over the next couple of months.