INDIANAPOLIS — A bill approved by the state Senate could make it easier to issue tickets for school bus stop-arm violations and increase penalties for those disobeying the law.
Senate Bill 69, authored by Republican Sen. Rick Niemeyer, would allow police to send a citation to the registered owner of a vehicle that illegally passes a stopped school bus without an officer directly witnessing the violation. Current law requires a law enforcement officer to identify the driver of the vehicle and recommend that person be charged with a misdemeanor crime.
Under Niemeyer’s plan, violations could instead be captured by stop-arm cameras affixed to school buses, which can document the license plate of an offending vehicle.
The offense would be considered a Class B misdemeanor against the owner of the vehicle, which carries a fine up to $1,000. There are provisions written into the bill which would not allow the vehicle's registered owner to be cited if the vehicle was stolen, if it is rented regularly or if the owner allowed an employee to use the vehicle.