New MI school bus law aims to crack down on drivers who ignore stop arms

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - A new Michigan school bus law aimed to stop drivers who ignore stop arms on a school bus is now in effect.

It’s a safety problem that many schools and students still face, drivers ignoring stop arms on school buses.

“Absolutely, it has been a problem,” Niles Community Schools Superintendent Dan Applegate told 16 News Now Tuesday.

For Applegate, he believes there has to be a better way to hold violators accountable.

“In some ways, police have been hamstrung by what they have been allowed to do.”

That is until this week. Schools who have school bus stop arm cameras are now able to use any video or photo evidence they capture from their cameras and report it to law enforcement to help crack down on violators.

“It used to be that you had to catch the person and the license plate and everything but now, we can report the license plate itself,” Applegate says.

In Michigan, anyone who disobeys a school bus stop arm could face fines up to $500 and could be required to served up to 100 hours of community service for a school.

“We probably get anywhere between 5 to 7 of these incidents per week, but we’re only able to maybe prosecute one to two an entire month. This will make it easier and so we will be able to make it safer for our students in transit,” Applegate says.

While Applegate says he knows the new law won’t stop everyone who tries to ignore it, he says it’s a step in the right direction.

“You can’t control what other drivers do out there. This law is a step in the right direction to provide that much needed safety for our students as they transported to and from our schools,” Applegate says.

For more information about school bus safety in Michigan, click here.

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