Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Audio Taping on School Buses Debated

Under current Pennsylvania wire tap laws you are able to videotape individuals but are not able to audio tape them without their consent. Exceptions have been made for police stops. The law says the prohibition on taping does not extend to locations where people do not have an expectation of privacy. There has been a debate for the last decade over weather that extends to school buses. District attorneys across the state have been weighing in on their level of willingness to file criminal complaints. Some say they will prosecute and others say they will not. However that does not speak to any civil suits that could be filed. State Rep Don Walko has introduced legislation in the house that would place a stipulation in the law that would allow for the use of audiotape along with videotape in school buses. However before it can be installed the school board must first give its approval, notify parents and students and post clear warnings on the bus. One operator testifying asked that his “hands be untied.” The state police say such a unifying law would also help their enforcement efforts. Walko says he has spoken to the ACLU and heard no objections.

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