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State Senate passes School Bus Safety Act

The Dothan City Schools Department of Transportation weighs in on a bill that would add cameras to school buses.
Jay Bruner, Dothan City Schools Director of Transportation, supports the school bus bill, as it would further efforts to protect children.
Jay Bruner, Dothan City Schools Director of Transportation, supports the school bus bill, as it would further efforts to protect children.
School bus driver Marvin Ardis, Jr. discusses what bus drivers face on a daily basis when transporting children.
School bus driver Marvin Ardis, Jr. discusses what bus drivers face on a daily basis when transporting children.
It's being called an epidemic. 

Thousands of cars and truck not stopping for school buses when the should.

"Any given day, with our Dothan schools, I will have two to three drivers call in and give me license plate numbers and descriptions of the drivers," said Jay Bruner, Dothan City Schools Director of Transportation.


Six thousand children ride school buses in Dothan, and that’s six thousand lives at higher danger when people don't obey the law.

"A lot of times, people are caught up, their racing the clock.  But what they always need to remember is safety first.  Children are the precious commodity of our community,” Bruner said.

The School Bus Safety Act would allow cameras on buses, which would capture license plates of automobiles that fail to stop.  

A fine would be imposed in much the same way as red light enforcement occurs in some cities.

It would be a civil matter and not a criminal one: up to $350.00 for first-time offenders, $750.00 for a second offense and $1,000.00 if it happens a third time.

"It's not an easy job to try to get their license plate at the same time while we're trying to watch the students.  We must provide safety for our students and that's what the stop arm is for.  But people will just ride on by, and we've even blown the horn at them, but they don't stop," said school bus driver Marvin Ardis, Jr.

"There's nothing more important that those school children and their safety.  If we got technology that can be put in place that would enhance that safety, then we should utilize it, and that's the purpose of the bill," said State Senator Jimmy Holley (R-Elba), who sponsored the bill.

The bill now goes to the House for its consideration, and if the House passes the bill, it's up to the local school boards to approve the program.
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