- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) - Fremont County’s school district has installed video cameras on its school buses, inspired by the death of an 11-year-old girl who was hit by a car speeding past a stopped bus in 2011.

The Riverton Ranger reported Wednesday (https://bit.ly/1ppgw5E ) that contractors have installed 62 cameras on the district’s 25 buses.

Officials hope the cameras will help prevent “fly-bys” - drivers who pass stopped school buses with flashing lights and their stop signs extended. One infra-red camera can spot license plate numbers at night.

Other Wyoming school districts are installing the cameras. A new state law requires all school buses to have cameras by the 2016-17 academic year. Laramie County School District 1 in Cheyenne expects to finish installing cameras within five weeks.

In December 2011, Makayla Marie Strahle was struck and killed by a vehicle after stepping off her school bus. The driver, William Dean Barnes, was convicted of several misdemeanor charges. The bus had flashing lights but there was fog at the time.

Her death and lobbying by her classmates led to the legislation last session. Barry Capellen, the transportation supervisor for School District 25, said in the past there had been at least one stop sign violation per day.

In Riverton, a pickup truck passed a Fremont County bus dropping off children on Aug. 28. There have been no arrests even though the bus driver provided a description of the vehicle.

It is illegal to pass a stopped bus from either direction if the bus has an extended stop sign and flashing lights on a roadway that has no median or barrier between opposing traffic lanes. ‘

Violators can be fined $420 and up to a year in jail for a second offense within 12 months.


Information from: The (Riverton, Wyo.) Ranger, https://www.dailyranger.com

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