The Nassau County Legislature Committees passed legislation to implement school bus STOP-arm cameras by September 2021. The legislation passed unanimously though the Public Safety, Finance and Rules committees. This legislation comes after months of advocacy by Majority Caucus legislators and residents and will go before the full legislature on May 24th, where it is expected to pass.
The legislation allows the County to enter into a contract with Verra Mobility Corporation (formerly American Traffic Solutions) to operate a system and install STOP-arm cameras to school buses for districts that decide to opt into the program. The camera would take a photograph and video of every vehicle that passes the school bus with its stop-sign arm out. The video and photo would then be sent to Nassau County’s Traffic and Parking Violations Authority (TPVA), who would determine if a law has been broken, and would then send the car’s owner a ticket. The fine will be $250 for each infraction. A grace period will be implemented from the start of the program and continue for 60 days afterward to allow drivers to be aware they are violating the law without incurring the fines. Those drivers during the grace period will receive a warning in the mail, instead of a ticket.
Each of Nassau County's 56 school districts who choose to opt-in to this program will enter into an agreement with the county to have the cameras installed. In a poll of School Districts, 22 were initially interested.
"As Chairwoman of the Legislature's Public Safety Committee, I am proud to see this program the Majority has spearheaded for months, finally come to fruition,” Said Alternate Deputy Presiding Officer Denise Ford, who also serves as chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee. "This new initiative will help to keep our children safe when boarding and exiting the bus and deter drivers from putting students in harm's way. I look forward to seeing this program's speedy implementation."
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children,” Legislator Bill Gaylor said. “Too many people think it is okay to speed past a school bus when their lights are flashing as they’re dropping off children. This is unsafe, illegal and puts the safety of our students at risk. My message to drivers is clear: Stop for busses to protect our children or pay a price.”