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School bus cameras ordinance heads to Council

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Caleb Pritchard

City Council’s Public Safety Committee is sending a new resolution up for full Council consideration that would let school districts hand out tickets to drivers caught on camera blowing past the stop signs that are on school buses. Council originally directed city staff to write the proposed ordinance in April. If passed, it would allow any of the four districts that overlap Austin’s municipal boundaries to install the cameras, write tickets and assess fines for alleged violators. The language of the ordinance specifically states that it does not “create an expense or obligation for the City.” Before the vote, one activist spoke against the proposed ordinance and played for the committee a video of an investigative news report in Dallas that exposed significant issues in a similar program in Dallas County. Staff from AISD told the committee that the district is aware of those problems and indicated that those issues were related to the specific camera system vendor. The committee approved the measure 2-1, with Council members Ora Houston and Leslie Pool voting in favor and Council Member Don Zimmerman voting against. Council Member Greg Casar was absent.

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