School bus cameras can be used to enforce traffic laws

Sep 2, 2013

Illinois drivers already get traffic tickets from red-light cameras and speed-zone cameras. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, a new law means drivers could soon be ticketed by school-bus cameras.

Lawmakers say drivers going around stopped school buses is a significant problem. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Democrat from Aurora, acknowledged that some of her colleagues have concerns about Illinois' increasing use of cameras to enforce traffic laws. But during a debate in the House earlier this year, she said this shouldn't be a big deal.

"We have advanced to the point where we're asking even some of the school buses to have cameras inside because of kids being mistreated and what have you. This is just a natural progression."

Illinois law is already tough on people who pass school buses. If a police officer writes the ticket, the first offense has a $150 fine and a three-month license suspension; it's $500 and a year's suspension for subsequent violations.

The fines would be the same for the camera citations, but without the license suspension. Buses that have the cameras will be required to carry signs alerting drivers they're being watched.