The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution in June that supports having surveillance cameras installed on school bus stop arms to monitor motorists who illegally pass stopped buses engaged in loading and unloading students.
The organization passed the resolution at its 80th Annual Meeting held June 13–16 in Orlando, Fla. After being submitted by Hallandale Beach, Fla., Mayor Joy Cooper and Green Bay, Wis., Mayor James Schmitt, it was approved by a Children and Family Services Committee and the conference body as a whole, said a spokeswoman. The resolution pledges to provide information to other mayors and state legislators about the benefits of stop arm cameras to enforce local laws aimed to protect children around school buses. It also resolved to encourage mayors and other elected officials to consider all options when addressing the problem of illegal passing.
The mayors recognized the National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey published by the Kansas State Department of Education and its predecessor that started in the survey in 1970, the Kansas Department of Transportation. The survey aggregrately reports an annual average of 11 student fatalities caused by motorists who fail to stop and yield to stopped school buses.
The resolution cited a one-day, national survey performed in 2011 by 28 states and supported by NASDPTS that found that 76,600 vehicles passed school buses illegally. It also recognized the NAPT position that "illegal passing of stopped school buses unnecessarily exposes our children to the risk of injury and death, and that it must be eliminated through standardized penalties, simpler enforcement and penalties, and great public education efforts."
The conference also cited statistics from NHTSA that indicated 82 percent of motorists surveyed say they agree that automated photo enforcement of illegal passers is "a good idea."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Each of these 1,295 cities nationwide are represented by their mayors at the conference.