WTOP reports that Maryland is seriously considering putting enforcement cameras on school buses to catch the people who ignore the flashing red lights.
I'm conflicted on that, although it wouldn't affect me because I always stop for school buses. I don't like automated enforcement and cameras. I think once you allow them for any purpose, the lawmakers will expand them to cover everything (as we're seeing in Maryland with the proliferation of speed cameras now leading to the school bus enforcement). On the other hand, I can't see any justification for blowing past a school bus whose red lights are flashing, assuming of course there's no median separating you from the bus. So I find it hard to sympathize with anyone who might get nailed by these hypothetical cameras.
Haven't read the link, but these wouldn't need to be automated cameras like speeding and red light cameras, would they? They could just be a consumer quality video camera (like many of us shoot road videos with) that could provide video evidence to support a citation.
I am not exactly in favor of "automated" traffic enforcement, especially because some places in the United States (like the District of Columbia) are using automated traffic enforcement to collect revenue, not
to improve traffic safety.
Having said that, and speaking of Maryland, I believe that the General Assembly (not
a county or municipal government) would have to enact a change to the state's Transportation Article to allow this type of automated enforcement (it already allows some forms of red light and speed cameras). There might be an issue in counties where school bus service is provided by private-sector contractors and not the school district itself (all school districts in Maryland are county-wide except in Baltimore City, where the school district is city-wide because Baltimore City is not part of any county), only a few counties have county school buses, most of the counties contract with the private sector for transportation service - and at least once school district uses the private sector for "regular" transportation, but uses school district buses and employees to transport some special education and disabled pupils.
The school district in the middle of this article, Montgomery County, uses only its own buses (with local government registration plates) that are driven by school district employees.
I think it might make a legal difference if the camera was mounted on a bus with local government plates instead of plates belonging to a private contractor (even though all school buses are painted yellow and have essentially the same flashing lights and STOP paddles).