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Indiana Lawmakers Revise Bill On Passing Stopped Buses

A school bus stopped at a stop sign

(WFIU/WTIU News File)

Indiana lawmakers have revised a bill that would install cameras on school buses to catch and punish motorists who pass illegally to address concerns that anyone might profit from the legislation.

The Indiana House Courts and Criminal Code Committee on Wednesday amended the bill to bar schools or camera vendors from making money from the camera enforcement. Fines collected can be used to pay for camera equipment.

The bill comes after six-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their nine-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, were struck and killed by a pickup truck as they crossed a northern Indiana road to board a school bus in October.

The goal of the bill isn't to make money but to deter drivers from passing a school bus that has its stop arm extended, said Republican Sen. Randy Head, the bill's sponsor.

"There can be no ongoing source of revenue for the schools, there can be no ongoing source of revenue for the vendor," Head said.

The bill proposes suspending the driver's license for 90 days the first time someone passes a stopped school bus and a year for repeat offenders. It would raise the offense of not stopping for a school bus from a ticketed infraction to a misdemeanor and make it a felony offense to recklessly pass a bus and injure someone.

Brittany and Shane Ingle, the parents of the three children who were killed, say they're happy with the bill's progress.

"We hope that we can bring all sides together to come to with an agreement that will get everyone on board and we can get this important bill passed to help save children's lives," the couple said in a statement.

The bill passed the Senate last month. It'll now be considered by the full House.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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