If you Pass a School Bus, Be Prepared to Say CheeseIf you are a driver in New Jersey, you may remember the red light cameras that were functional until 2014. If you ran a red light, the camera took your picture and you received a ticket and summons in the mail. The New Jersey legislature is now trying to use similar methods to catch drivers who fail to stop when ordered to do so by a school bus.

If passed, the law would give school districts permission to have private companies install cameras on their buses to capture images of cars that improperly pass a stopped school bus. The images would be delivered to law enforcement, who will then issue a citation and summons to drivers accordingly. The law would also increase the fine for this type of violation to $300 – $500, up from $100 as it is now. The ticket would also be considered an administrative violation.

Criticism of School Bus Cameras

While it is, of course, important to keep schoolchildren safe when getting on and off the school bus, these cameras may not be the way to do so. The red light camera program failed and this is a similar program that would allow a private company to strive for profits under the guise of safety. When issuing tickets is a source of revenue, questionable or even fraudulent practices can easily develop.

As it is, police officers in New Jersey issue a number of tickets to drivers for illegally passing school buses – in fact, 1,655 were issued in 2015 alone. When an officer pulls you over and personally issues a ticket, a conviction will mean points on your driver’s license and a fine. If a ticket is issued due to a camera, however, the administrative violations will not have points associated with it. Either way, there are ways to defend against traffic allegations that can keep your driving record clean. We will keep watching the progress of the bill to determine whether school bus cameras will begin policing our streets.

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At the Law Offices of Leon Matchin, we represent drivers facing a wide variety of traffic-related allegations. When fines and your driving record are at stake, you always want to seek representation from an experienced defense attorney who understands the municipal court system in New Jersey. Please call today if you need help with any type of criminal or traffic case.