School Bus Drivers Not Facing Stiff Enough Penalties from Red Light Camera Violations

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A new report  “Wrong on Red” released by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman shows shocking and chilling statistics regarding bus drivers running red lights. An investigation found that nine school bus companies operating in Suffolk County received over 1,100 red light camera ticket violations over a three-year period and that, under existing State law, such violations were not required to be reported to the DMV as part of the State’s oversight of school bus company safety.  Similarly, six bus companies operating in Page 3 Westchester County received nearly 300 red light camera tickets in 2016.

Normally, if a driver accumulates nine points on their license due to convictions of the vehicle and traffic law within an eighteen month period, the driver is disqualified from operating a bus for one year. This includes points racked up from running a red light. Sounds good right?  Well this only applies if the ticket is given to the driver by the police.  When a red light camera records the incident the scenario is different. If that same driver ran three red lights, and received red light camera  tickets in the same time frame, he would get no points on his license and could continue to drive a bus.

According to Attorney Neal Goldstein, “There is too much of a gap in the current law.  Bus companies are not required to report red light camera violations even though they know who the offending drivers are. Bus companies are required to keep records of who’s driving what bus and when.  It’s dangerous loophole that puts our children, pedestrians and other drivers at risk.  Although some bus companies may terminate the driver’s employment, many do not.”

Proposed Changes for Red Light Camera Tickets

The attorney general is proposing the following changes to current law:

  • School bus companies should be required by law to maintain copies of all red light camera violations received by the school bus companies and its school bus drivers.
  • Bus companies must be required to report red light camera tickets and the offending drivers to the DMV.
  • Bus companies must be required to consider red light camera offenses in their evaluations of drivers. Drivers who accumulate three red light camera violations should be disqualified from driving for a one-year period.
  • Bus companies to provide an annual report on red light camera violations to school districts.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured due to a bus driver’s negligence, we can help.  Whether it was from the bus driver running a red light, or making an illegal left-hand turn or any number of scenarios, we will work hard to seek justice and compensation for your injuries.  Call our office today for a free, no obligation consolation at 516-222-4000.

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