COLUMBUS, Ohio — State Senator Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, on Tuesday introduced the School Bus Safety Act, legislation raising additional awareness to the dangerous consequences of drivers ignoring the flashing lights of a stopped school bus.
Senate Bill 23 creates a $300 civil penalty for drivers who are caught illegally passing a school bus. Of these funds, $250 would be issued to the school district, $25 would be issued to local law enforcement and $25 would go to the School Bus Safety and Education Fund, a newly created fund through the Ohio Treasurer. The fund is intended to enhance school bus safety and raise public awareness of the laws governing school bus safety.
The bill would allow for a clear image, images or video to be used to identify a driver illegally passing a school bus, or the license plate for the purposes of issuing a citation.
“No parent should have to worry about their child’s safety when getting on or off of a school bus,” Gavarone said. “Cameras have proven to be effective at combatting the issue of illegally passing school buses, but the cost of installation and maintenance is prohibitive for many school districts. That is why I am proud to introduce this bill, the first of its kind in Ohio, that would give every school district the opportunity to equip cameras to their entire fleet of school buses without a single dime of taxpayer funds.”
The legislation also designates August as School Bus Safety Awareness Month.
Senate Bill 23 was referred to the Veterans and Public Safety Committee for consideration.