Westchester County Executive George Latimer & Board of Legislators Chairwoman Catherine Borgia are pleased to announce their efforts to increase safety for our school children. This bill would authorize the County to work with local districts to equip cameras on school bus stop signs and enforce penalties on drivers who fail to stop at them. 

This authorization is required under New York State Vehicle and Traffic law §1174-a, which “imposes monetary liability for failure of a motor vehicle operator to comply with school bus red visual signals and stop arm,” for any jurisdiction, including Counties, Towns & Cities which maintain any roads.

Latimer said: “The safety of our school children is paramount to all of us in government. This simple legislation satisfies the requirement by New York State Law to authorize these cameras and penalties in Westchester County. I look forward to continuing our great partnership with the Westchester County Board of Legislators to improve the safety conditions on our roads for school buses and school children.”

Board of Legislators Chairwoman Catherine Borgia said: “Installing cameras on school buses stop signs is a practical, simple way to protect our children’s safety. Let's make the roads safer for everyone, starting with our most vulnerable passengers.”

Legislator Colin Smith said: “School buses are slow moving vehicles carrying our most precious cargo - children. Now with the use of cameras we can hold impatient and careless drivers accountable for putting lives at risk for the sake of shaving off time from their commute.”

Legislator Vedat Gashi said: “We saw the effectiveness of school bus stop arm cameras in Somers. This safety feature is necessary to hold reckless drivers accountable. I look forward to working with County Executive Latimer and my colleagues to expand the program to the rest of Westchester and keep children and families safe.”

Legislator Erika Pierce said: “Distracted drivers pass stopped school busses every single day in our county, putting our children at risk.  Despite best efforts, the scale of the problem is beyond what our police and school bus drivers can handle. They need access to programs like this to help them keep our kids safe. I am pleased that Westchester can play an important role in getting this done.”

Under this the County is authorized to enter into agreements with school districts for the installation, maintenance and use of school bus photo violation monitoring systems. Each school district located within the County that would like to utilize the program must enter into an agreement with the County. Once a school district has entered into an agreement with the County, cameras will be installed to the external portion of school buses owned or

operated by that school district or privately owned and operated. The County will cover the costs of the program.

A driver who violates the new law will be liable for the following monetary penalties:

  • $250 for a first violation:
  • $275 for a second violation committed within 18 months of the first violation:
  • $300 for a third violation or subsequent violation all of which were committed within 18 months from the first violation: and
  • an additional penalty of $25 for each violation for the failure to respond to a notice of liability within the prescribed time period.

The penalties will not be counted as a ‘conviction’ on a driver’s record nor will be used for motor vehicle insurance purposes.