DECATUR, Ga. — City Schools of Decatur will soon become the 12th school district in Georgia to partner with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to deploy CrossingGuard, the supplier’s technology to help school districts address the growing problem of illegal passing of school buses that are stopped and boarding or disembarking children.
In conjunction with the start of the program, the schools, police department and ATS have also released a video public service announcement to help educate the community about the student safety initiative. The video, shown below, explains how the CrossingGuard school bus stop arm safety solution works. It also highlights the role of law enforcement, the penalties issued, and the importance of school bus safety.
"Our priority is keeping students as safe as possible going to and from school," said Dr. Phyllis Edwards, superintendent of the City Schools of Decatur.
CrossingGuard is equipped with external cameras that capture an image of a vehicle's license plate and a brief video clip of the entire violation event. To date, more than 99% of the drivers who have received a school bus stop arm violation from a CrossingGuard camera have not received a second violation, indicating a positive change in driver behavior, according to ATS.
In Georgia, the penalty for a 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, company officials said.
"We are excited to partner the City of Decatur Police Department with the City Schools of Decatur and American Traffic Solutions to better protect our most valued treasure, Decatur's children," said Police Chief Mike Booker. "We hope this program will foster greater awareness in the community about safe and legal driving practices."
The cameras are scheduled to be operational when school resumes.