Generic School Bus Stop

Delaware State Senator Jack Walsh said a pilot program putting video cameras on Red Clay School District buses to monitor red light runners was enlightening.

"There were 268 violations that were accounted for, that we saw just in Red Clay in 67 days."

Those caught on Red Clay's cameras are sent a $100 civil fine, with each subsequent violation being worth $500.

Walsh (D-Christiana/Newark) voted with all but two of the senators to continue the pilot program in Red Clay, where the district has outsourced monitoring the videos to a third party, but then sends the violations.

One who voted against was Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover), who said he didn't have a problem with the program, but the enforcement side.

"Should people get tickets when they go around buses? The answer is, of course, yes. I don't know this, but my guess is, people would be surprised to find out that this does not go through law enforcement."

Walsh was also challenged by his Republican colleagues if the fines were excessive.

"I know I've been driving for 43 years, and I've never drove through a school bus (with red lights). If we don't go through the school bus, we won't have any issues. The ultimate goal is to have zero dollars collected."

Besides Bonini, the other no vote came from Sen. Ernie Lopez (R-Dewey/Lewes), who did not speak during the floor debate.

Red Clay's vendor takes 15% of each ticket, which is earmarked for enforcement and installation of the cameras.

Appeals to the civil fines would go to the Justice of the Peace Court.

HB 120, which passed the House unanimously last month, now goes to Gov. Carney's desk for final approval.