Rep. Jack O’Malley represents the 101st District in the Michigan House.
A bipartisan plan led by state Rep. Jack O’Malley to keep kids safe in and around school buses has been signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
House Bills 4201-04 stiffen penalties for people who board buses without permission and allow the courts to prosecute drivers who put children in danger. O’Malley has been a strong and consistent advocate for shoring up safety measures, having originally introduced the plans in his first term representing Michigan’s 101st House District.
The proposals received overwhelming support in the House and advanced to the governor’s desk in unanimous fashion through Senate votes.
“For families across our state, the safety of their children is paramount,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “We have heard many stories of tragedies that occurred on buses or while children are in the process of getting on or getting off a bus. These reforms strengthen enforcement. They make it clear that if you run through a stop sign a bus is displaying, you will be seen. They make it clear that you must respect the bus and the individual operating it. These measures will keep kids safer and give parents more peace of mind when they are entrusting their children to an entity besides themselves.”
The new laws will:
- Allow stop-arm cameras to be installed on buses. Video or photography would be allowed as evidence for law enforcement prosecuting vehicles that illegally pass a school bus. Corresponding legislation will spell out other specifications for any camera usage.
- Set a penalty for boarding a school bus without permission of the driver as a civil infraction, which is punishable by a fine up to $500. A civil infraction penalty for impeding the progress or operation of a school bus will also be established.
- Allow a sticker to be affixed to the side of a bus stating that unauthorized individuals attempting to board are subject to a civil infraction and fine.
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