Motorists who choose not to stop for school buses discharging or picking up children will soon have a better chance of getting caught and slapped with a hefty fine.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Broome County’s legislature recently approved the installation of cameras on the stop arms of buses to record the license plates of violators. Executive Jason Garnar says he hopes to have the cameras on hundreds of buses by the end of the school year.

The Democrat says after talking with school officials, he was shocked to hear just how many close calls there are every school year with cars flying past stopped buses that clearly have their lights flashing and stop arms activated.

The new cameras on some 800 buses in Broome County would automatically record the license plate and vehicle information of any vehicle that illegally passes a stopped school bus.

Garnar says the first offense fine will be $250.  While that fine may serve as a deterrent, school transportation officials say the potential of a vehicle hitting and injuring or killing a child should have been more than enough reason for motorists to obey the law and stop for the school buses.

The County is still researching potential vendors to contract with for the cameras and hardware.  Garnar says he expects the equipment will pay for itself with the money collected in fines.