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Cameras could improve student safety

SPRINGFIELD -- The State Board of Education says the riskiest part of riding a school bus is the stop.
SPRINGFIELD -- The State Board of Education says the riskiest part of riding a school bus is the stop. But now, a new law could make it easier to enforce the rules of the road. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis has more.

Cameras could soon be installed on school buses around the state. Currently, there's not too much law enforcement can do.

"We occasionally get complaints about people who pass school buses and we try to address those. Sometimes the school bus will have a plate number or something and they'll call in a complaint and we'll follow that up."

The cameras would record drivers who don't follow traffic laws while school buses are picking up and dropping off students. Police Chief Kenny Winslow says he thinks the enforcement process would be similar to that of red-light cameras.

"Basically, the camera captures the video, sends it to the department. The department then decides whether or not a citation should be generated and issued."

Drivers who have been found to have violated the law could be subjected to a $150 find for a first offense. Cinda Klickna, with the Illinois Education Association, says it's a good idea.

"We want to make sure that safety is uppermost, that students are really in school to learn and making sure all these provisions are in place helps teachers and support staff do what they're there to do, which is teach kids."

The driver would be ticketed through the mail. The recorded images would also be posted to a website. The fine would increase to $500 for those caught breaking the law a second time.

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