A bill that would allow still photos of the license plates on cars passing stopped school buses to form the basis for ticketing the owners of those vehicles has passed its first hurdle in the Wyoming Senate.

Senate File 59 would be a change in Wyoming law in that it would be the first time using a camera to take a still photo would be the legal basis for ticketing the owner of the vehicle.

While ticketing motorists for traffic violations based on camera photos of the license plate is a common practice in Colorado and many other states, it is currently prohibited under Wyoming law.

The bill specifically allows for the presumption that the owner of the car was driving the vehicle at the time of the violation. The bill's primary, Sen. Jeff Wasserburger (R-Campbell/Converse) told senators the change is needed because people are continuing to pass stopped school buses, despite the outfitting all school buses in the state with video recording cameras.

Wasserburger told the lawmakers that there were over 1,000 known instances of motorists passing parked school buses in Wyoming last year, posing a continuing danger to students getting on or off the buses. People ticketed for passing a stopped school bus can be fined $420 under state law.

Because the bill is a non-budget item, it needed a 2/3 majority vote to be considered. The introduction vote was 23-7 in favor.

The bill has now been referred to the Senate Education Committee for further consideration.

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