School buses in New York have a new option to help keep kids safe from motorists: cameras.

New York State estimates that, across the state, drivers illegally pass stopped school buses tens of thousands of times every day. In Central New York, a quick-thinking bus driver snatched a student from the path of an oncoming car just last year. Now, a new law has been passed allowing buses to install a camera on the stop arm to catch the drivers putting kids' lives in danger.

The stop arms are the arms that extend with flashing lights when the bus comes to a stop. It is illegal to pass a bus with its arm extended. Drivers caught on the camera will face up to a $250 fine.

According to New York Operation Safe Stop:

  • You must stop whether you are approaching the school bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear.
  • You must always stop for flashing red lights, even on divided and multilane highways and on school grounds.
  • The first-time fine for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 to $400 fine, 5 points on your license, and/or possibly 30 days in jail.