House Bill 1580 Proposes Automated Enforcement for Illegally Passing a School Bus
The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code (Title 75) outlines vehicle and driver responsibilities on the road. Section 75 Pa.C.S. § 3345 (a) states that “…the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking any school bus stopped on a highway or trafficway shall stop at least ten feet before reaching the school bus when the red signal lights on the school bus are flashing and the side stop signal arm is activated.
In 2011 The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation (NASDPTS) launched a survey to determine the amount of bus passing violations that occur within one day across the country. During the first survey, 76,685 illegal passes were documented from the bus drivers across 28 different states. The next year, in 2012, the number of illegal passes in one day increased to 88,025. In 2013, 29 states reported a total of 85,279 school bus passing violations during one day. When this data was extrapolated by the NASDPTS, the sample equated to over 15 million violations per school year (180 days).
In Pennsylvania, Section 75 Pa.C.S. § 3345 (a.1) permits school bus drivers to report any violation of this regulation. Reporting a violation includes signing a written report providing information pertaining to the identity of the violator, license number, color of vehicle, time/location of occurrence and identification of vehicle type. This report must be submitted to local police officials within 48 hours after the violation. If the violation is challenged, the school bus driver must appear to testify. Absence of testimony often results in reduction or dismissal of the violation.
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