Tennessee SB 205 – permits LEAs to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus

Bill Location:
Bill Title:

As introduced, permits LEAs to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus; allows evidence to be reviewed by law enforcement officers only after evidence is submitted to an LEA by a school bus driver; establishes citations for first and subsequent offenses. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 21 and Title 55, Chapter 8.

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NMA Recommendation:

UPDATE May 29, 2019: Became Public Chapter 418.

UPDATE May 14, 2019: Transmitted to Governor for action

UPDATE May 8, 2019: Substituted House Bill 268, which was signed by the Speaker of the House.

UPDATE April 30, 2019: Placed on Senate Regular Calendar; companion House Bill substituted.

UPDATE April 9, 2019: Action deferred in Committee.

UPDATE April 3, 2019: Finance, Ways & Means Committee scheduled Apri 9th hearing.

UPDATE March 13, 2019: Assigned to Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee; recommended for passage with amendment/s.

UPDATE March 11, 2019: Placed on Senate Education Committee calendar for March 13th.

UPDATE February 27, 2019: Action within the committee deferred until March 13th.

UPDATE February 20, 2019: Placed on Education Committee calendar for February 27th.

SB 205 was introduced on January 29, 2019, passed on second consideration and then was referred to the Senate Education Committee which has not yet scheduled a hearing.

The bill would allow any local education agency to enter into an agreement with a private, for-profit vendor to install, operate and maintain cameras on the exterior of school buses to record images of motor vehicles alleged to have failed to stop after approaching a school bus.

The NMA is opposed to the bill because it would permit school buses to be equipped with an automated enforcement camera. School bus stop-arm cameras are another of the photo-based traffic enforcement “solutions” looking for a problem. These systems employ cameras mounted on the exterior of school buses to record alleged passing violations of stopped school buses that are loading or unloading children. Supporters play upon the strong emotions elicited by the prospects of school children put at risk by negligent motorists, and they imply the cameras will save countless lives.

The truth is far different. National evidence shows that school bus transportation is remarkably safe and to the degree that safety incidents occur, bus drivers are generally more culpable than passing vehicles. Keeping camera fines high is a money maker more than a deterrent, and doesn’t address the more significant safety issue of bus driver training/education.

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