SIMSBURY, Conn. — Last fall, Simsbury Public Schools launched a stop-arm camera pilot program that district officials said returned "some very surprising results."
The district implemented the pilot program through a grant opportunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation. District administrators said in a statement that they "considered it important to assess student safety not only in school but on the way to school as well."
To perform an analysis of its bus routes, Simsbury Public Schools engaged the services of Redflex Traffic Systems. The company's Student Guardian video camera system captures data for vehicles that pass buses while they are loading or unloading children.
For Simsbury’s pilot program, seven buses were deployed with the cameras, and data were collected for one to three weeks between September and November. District officials said that all kinds of traffic road conditions and types of weather were included in the route analysis.
The findings: With 3,100 school bus stops, there were only two potential violations.
Sue Lemke, assistant superintendent for administration and human resource development, summed up the district’s reaction to the news.
“We were pleased to find that our community is so mindful of the importance of driving carefully around school buses," Lemke said. "We are satisfied with the conclusions from this route analysis, and we consider it great news that we don’t need to continue with the program.”
Lemke noted that the pilot provided an opportunity to work collaboratively with the Simsbury Police Department, which contributed expertise and resources that she said were instrumental to the success of the project.
“We owe a big thank you to the Simsbury community, which obviously cares as much as we do about the safety of our students,” Lemke added.
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