EXETER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A school district here has installed stop-arm cameras on some of its school buses after a student was struck by a vehicle that passed her bus while it was stopped, the Reading Eagle reports.
The Exeter Township School District board disclosed at its workshop meeting on March 12 that it has installed stop-arm cameras on 10 of its 40 school buses, and that additional funds are budgeted to add the new cameras, which cost $500 each, to another 20 buses, according to the newspaper.
The decision to install the stop-arm cameras came after a hit-and run incident in October, in which an elementary school student was struck and injured by a passing vehicle as she exited her school bus. As previously reported, a video surveillance camera on the bus reportedly shows the motorist of an SUV driving past the bus with its stop arm deployed and its red lights flashing, hitting 10-year-old Jahlexi Lozada, pausing, and then driving on.
Sgt. Sean Fullerton, public information officer of the Exeter Police Department, told the Reading Eagle that a photograph from the video was recorded by the bus’s forward-facing camera, and that the make and model of the SUV is difficult to determine and only part of the license plate can be seen. Fullerton added that the offending motorist in the case has not been found.
Benjamin L. Bernhart, the assistant transportation supervisor for Exeter Township School District, told the newspaper that three motorists have been caught illegally passing school buses since the stop-arm cameras were installed last month. Dr. Robert E. Phillips, the district’s superintendent, told the Reading Eagle that the buses chosen first to be equipped with the cameras were those on the “highest-impact routes.” Bernhart added that if the district contracts out its student transportation, stop-arm cameras will be required on all buses transporting Exeter Township School District students.