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October 06, 2011  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

5 N.C. districts test cameras to catch stop-arm violators


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With an eye on reducing the dangerous problem of illegal passing of school buses, five districts in North Carolina are testing cameras to catch violators in the act.

The pilot program is using a surveillance system that positions three cameras on the outside of the bus. The goal is to cut down on the more than 2,000 illegal passing incidents that school buses in the state experience daily.

When a vehicle passes a bus that has its stop arm activated, the system captures images of the vehicle, its license plate and the driver.

North Carolina state director Derek Graham told SBF that the endeavor is being funded by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and was prompted by legislation passed in 2009 to allow camera and video evidence to be used to prosecute stop-arm violations — and to stiffen penalties for the violations.

The state contracted with Fortress Mobile in Charlotte to provide the surveillance systems for seven school buses in the Carteret, Wake, Iredell, Rowan and Stokes districts.

At the Carteret County Public School System, the cameras have been installed on one bus that will rotate among various routes in the county.

Carteret Transportation Director Lloyd Willis told The Daily News that while the cameras’ images can be used in court, the ultimate goal is to prevent the illegal passing.

“We hope the program will increase the safety of school bus transportation by increasing awareness,” Graham added. “This is a preventative measure, and we hope to see positive results.”

 


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Read more about: North Carolina, stop arm running/illegal passing, video surveillance


My husband and I dropped my kids off at the back of their school one morning and I was in back of a school bus their was no children getting off the bus. The bus driver was talking to a teacher and the stop sign was not out! I proceeded to pass the bus and an hour later the police shows up to my home! What did I do so wrong!

Maria    |    Apr 08, 2014 03:30 PM

People run bus stop arms for various reasons. Attorneys for those who injure or kill children during their running a school bus stop arm will try to get their client off on any technicality that they can. Having an actual film of the incident takes all the doubt out of the minds of the judges or juries hearing the case. What is sad is that there are people who do not care enough to stop and wait a minute until the students are safely across the roadway or on board the bus they were walking to.

Dan Luttrell    |    Oct 09, 2011 08:41 PM

We have been using stop arm cameras for 2 years. I mount them facing towards the front of the bus so it captures the corner of the stop arm when it is extended. We have a 17 bus fleet and 11 of our busses have stop arm cameras installed. The local law enforcement are happy to help out and we have not been to court one time since we starte using the cameras. Thanks Jim Roth

Jim Roth    |    Oct 07, 2011 04:54 AM

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