ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. — Clarke County School District has partnered with Athens-Clarke County and American Traffic Solutions to deploy CrossingGuard to help address the problem of illegal passing of school buses.
“Student safety is our top priority, and we believe this will help drivers join us in ensuring the safety of all of our community’s children,” said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue, Clarke County School District.
In 2011, Georgia passed legislation to permit counties to equip school buses with video cameras to catch drivers who illegally drive by school buses when they stop to pick up or drop off students.
The CrossingGuard school bus arm safety solution mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle‘s license plate.
The violation video and license plate images are then reviewed by Athens-Clarke County law enforcement for approval prior to a citation being issued. In Georgia, the penalty for a first stop-arm violation will warrant the vehicle’s owner a $300 fine for the first violation, a $750 fine for the second, and a third violation in a five-year period will result in a $1,000 fine.
CrossingGuard is completely automated, allowing the school bus driver to focus on operating the bus and protecting its passengers, according to American Traffic Solutions.
The cameras will be installed on five buses and potentially up to 25 in the future.
“We are excited about this collaboration between the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Clarke County School District and American Traffic Solutions,” Chief of Police Joseph H. Lumpkin Sr. said. “This new technology will, no doubt, enhance the safety of our highways by protecting all of us — most importantly our most valued resource, our children.”
In September, Georgia's Paulding County Schools partnered with American Traffic Solutions to equip its buses with CrossingGuard.