Lawmakers want to double fines for school bus stop-arm cameras

ROCKVILLE, Md. - New data on school bus stop-arm cameras suggest that some drivers are not heeding the warning and are zooming past the stopped vehicles.

The video and still cameras that have been strategically mounted near the stop-arm on school buses have been dubbed the "Short Arm of the Law."

They are designed because they catch people in action as they are passing a school bus when they aren't supposed to. The cameras are set up to capture close up digital images of the license plate number.

Since the cameras were put on buses in the greater Washington area back in 2013, at least 1500 citations have been issued,

Most of the citations have been issued in Montgomery County and have resulted in almost $130,000 in fines.

Officials say fines for passing a school bus when the stop arm is lowered is $250.

However, in Montgomery County, the legislative delegation has introduced house bill 471 that would double that fine from $250 to $500.

Law enforcement and school officials have become concerned for the safety of children getting on and off buses after other counties have reported seeing high numbers of violators.

Even thought a lot of tickets are being handed out, officials believe the presence of the cameras is serving its purpose as a warning to drivers.

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