(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), and State Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) today introduced legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Johnson City) aimed at safeguarding Tennessee students who rely on the bus to get them to and from school each day.
Known as the STOP Act, the initiative imposes Class A misdemeanor penalties on all motorists who fail to stop upon approaching a school bus that is picking up or dropping off students.
The STOP Act also improves safety on board buses by permitting local education agencies (LEA) to purchase, install, and operate external video cameras for their buses or partner with private vendors or transportation contractors to have equipment installed and operated for them.
Any imagery and video captured that meets state standards for admissibility would be submitted to local law enforcement by an LEA for inclusion in court proceedings.
Under the STOP Act, the Tennessee Department of Education would be responsible for 65 percent of costs, with LEAs covering the remaining portion. All monies paid to an LEA would fall outside of Basic Education Program (BEP) funding.
The Washington County Legislative Delegation is committed to improving safety for their students and those across our state.
“In recent years, we have seen far too many instances where student safety has been jeopardized, whether on board school buses or at the bus stop,” said Representative Hill. “The future leaders of our community should not have to worry about whether they will reach their school campus or home safely. The STOP Act will ease these concerns, while promoting responsible driving practices around school buses in cities and towns across Tennessee.”