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School buses could get traffic-ticket cameras

Automated traffic ticket cameras could soon show up in a new place. They’d be attached to school buses. Opponents of photo traffic enforcement are mounting a late effort to stop the idea in the sate Legislature.

Brenner Beck is a school bus driver in Gig Harbor. He says motorists go around his bus when the flashing stop sign paddle is out.

"There is not a day I drive it does not happen on my bus. Sometimes it will happen five times on just one elementary pickup," says Beck.

So bus drivers are asking the state Legislature to give school districts the option to outfit their buses with photo enforcement systems. Car owners who blow by the flashing red lights would then get a $394 ticket in the mail.

The measure passed the  Senate without opposition, but now critics are marshaling to flash their own stop sign in the state House.

Puyallup contractor Nick Sherwood built the website. He says Northwest citizens, when given the chance, have consistently said they don't want automated ticket machines, period.

Sherwood though admits it's a challenge to argue against something that's billed as "for the kids."


Correspondent Tom Banse is an Olympia-based reporter with more than three decades of experience covering Washington and Oregon state government, public policy, business and breaking news stories. Most of his career was spent with public radio's Northwest News Network, but now in semi-retirement his work is appearing on other outlets.