SPANISH FORK, Utah – While 16-year-old Reed Haywood can now date and drive like his other friends, he isn’t your average teenager.
“I’ve been going to caucus meetings with my dad ever since I was little,” Reed said.
In fact, he’s already sent a bill to Capitol Hill, after being challenged by Utah Representative Mike McKell.
“As I was learning to drive and getting in the required forty hours, I noticed a lot of people were passing school buses when that red stop sign was out,” Reed said. “And so I decided to figure out if we could better enforce that.”
The bill would allow courts to use video footage captured from cameras installed on buses to help prosecute traffic violators.
If a driver were to break the law by passing a stop arm, the bus driver would be responsible for noting the time, location, the license plate number, and even a description of the driver in only a matter of seconds. But legislators said if they could use bus camera footage, their job would be easier.
“We need to be able to find a way to prosecute these people that drive past our school buses when a police officer’s not present,” said Jordan School District Transportation Director Herb Jensen. “There were 1,468 motorists on one day, November the 9th, that drove past school buses with their red lights flashing. So that’s kind of scary because that’s where our kids are standing.”
Reed will head to the state capitol in two to three weeks to watch the bill debated on the senate and house floor. Until then, he encourages everyone to write their representatives to show their support.
“It’s really cool to be able to get involved with your community,” Reed said.
The bill won’t cost tax payers or the state anything, as 20% of the ticket revenue will fund new cameras on school buses.