Bill aims to bring back school bus cams

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A few months ago, Chesterfield County abandoned plans to install cameras on the stop arms of school buses. The county had installed cameras as part of a pilot program to catch cars passing stopped school buses.

The school system says it caught close to 400 violators. The parents of a then 5-year-old Chesterfield student, who ended up OK after being hit by a car passing a stopped school bus, were among those pushing for cameras.

“I think they would understand how important it is to keep our kids safe if they only felt what I felt for just a half a second,” said parent Amy Ford back in October.

But plans never moved forward after the attorney general issued an opinion saying that under Virginia law, citations could not be mailed and had to be delivered in person to violators. The opinion also caused Falls Church and Arlington to suspend their school bus camera programs, but a new bill in the General Assembly would allow citations to be mailed.

That’s good news to area parents, who say cars passing buses are still a concern.

“The bus will be stopped right here, and the cars will just keep going,” parent Anthony Bradley said. “They don’t even stop.”

Bradley says he sees cars passing his kids’ bus stop all the time. He says he supports getting cameras on school buses and believes it would cut down on people breaking the law.

“I think it would be different because they know they could get caught,” said Bradley.

A Senate version of the bill passed a committee Monday morning and now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story. 

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