School bus cameras in South Carolina used to issue tickets

AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - If you pass a stopped school bus, be prepared to pay a hefty fine, even if you're not pulled over.

Legislation passed this year means video from school buses can be used as evidence to prosecute people who drive past stopped school buses with the stop arm out and lights flashing.

"I think it's a good idea because it'll get more people aware, instead of going too fast and not paying attention," Barbara Glanton said.  

The way the law previously read made it difficult to prosecute violators because it required an officer to witness the violation. That's why South Carolina Senator Thomas Alexander helped get a bill signed into law this year to change that.

"Law enforcement does a great job at each and every level but under the previous law they had to witness first hand any of these violations and I think that was the challenge," Alexander said.

Some drivers in the Palmetto State told us, that they aren't on board with the new legislation.

"If somebody's doing something and somebody reports it that's one thing," Jerald Josey said. "But just to pull video, just to catch someone doing something wrong, I don't think that's right."

Regardless of which side of your argument you're on, it's the law... school districts around the state are already installing exterior camera systems that videotape different angles of passing vehicle to identify the license plate and the driver.

The maximum fine for a first offense is  $500 and possibly six points on your driving record.

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