School bus cameras help catch drivers passing illegally!
The Beloit Turner School District is two weeks into a pilot program putting cameras on a few of their school buses. The district started the program in an effort to better identify people passing stopped school buses illegally.
The buses with cameras started running on April 1. Since then, the school has seen and reported over 20 violations -- more than one a day.
The issue was brought up earlier this year, when bus drivers told Superintendent Dennis McCarthy that cars constantly passed illegally, making it dangerous for students getting on and off.
"They were telling us this is happening on a daily basis and we need to find a better way to deal with this before someone gets hurt," McCarthy said.
The school district installed cameras on three buses in their fleet to record the incidents. Installing the cameras cost between $7,000 and $8,000.
Now, bus drivers on those buses can push a button if they see a car pass them illegally, and the cameras record. The school can then review the video and report the violation to the Town of Beloit Police Department.
"The video is very clear and it's easy to see the license plate number, so I would say that so far, it's a success," said Lieutenant Bryan Hasse with the Town of Beloit Police Department.
The police department can use that information to track down the drivers and issue citations, which include fines over $200. Hasse said the police department has issued over 20 citations since April 1.
"Sometimes it takes people receiving fines for violating those laws for them to learn that it's an important issue and it's a safety factor," he said.
McCarthy said the program is already starting to bring attention to the issue, and he hopes the awareness will continue to spread.
"This is happening nationwide, and as schools, as citizens in our communities, we all need to be aware of the problem that's occurring," he said.
In fall, the school district will bring data from the pilot program to the board in the fall and discuss expanding the program to all 22 buses on the fleet. McCarthy said that would cost at least $50,000.
Story >> https://www.nbc15.com/content/news/School-bus-cameras-helping-catch-drivers-passing-illegally-508669001.html
Many states are attempting to catch and punish motorists who pass stopped school buses by allowing cameras to be placed on the outside of the bus to record such illegal passing. At least 16 states have school bus stop-arm camera laws.
In 2018, Pennsylvania became the 16th state to authorize localities or school districts to use school bus stop-arm cameras. In the 2017 legislative session, Arkansas and Utah passed legislation to allow school bus stop-arm cameras. In 2016, Alabama enacted a law allowing for exterior school bus cameras, expanding a program initially created in 2015 in Mobile County. In the 2014 legislative session, South Carolina and Wyoming enacted such laws. In the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington enacted such measures.
As students return to class, some school districts are releasing dramatic videos to highlight the dangers from drivers who fail to stop for school buses. A growing number of schools are equipping buses with cameras to record violators. Mark Strassmann speaks to families who have been impacted by motorists illegally passing. - CBS This Morning - Sep 14, 2016
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