ATLANTA — Cameras to catch illegally passing vehicles will be installed on Atlanta Public Schools buses.
The city of Atlanta partnered with the school district for the initiative, which Mayor Kasim Reed announced on Tuesday.
Stop-arm running has been a significant problem in the Atlanta area as well as throughout Georgia.
In 2013, Atlanta and three other school districts in the area — DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett — tallied 3,359 drivers illegally passing stopped school buses in one day.
At least one Georgia student has been struck and killed by a vehicle passing a school bus in each of the past five school years on record, according to national surveys compiled annually by the Kansas State Department of Education.
In Atlanta, the stop-arm cameras will be placed on school buses to help the city police department review and confirm video of offenses and issue citations. The Atlanta Municipal Court would then adjudicate any disputed citations.
“The safety of our schoolchildren is a top priority for my administration,” Reed said. “The installation of these external cameras will not only help to decrease the number of drivers who illegally pass school buses, but also hold offenders accountable for their actions.”
Under the agreement, Atlanta Public Schools will bear the full installation and ongoing maintenance costs of the cameras. The city will incur costs related to the review of offenses and adjudication of disputed citations.
“The installation of stop-arm cameras on our city’s school buses is an important step forward in ensuring the safety of our schoolchildren,” said Steven Lee, an Atlanta school board member.
At least a dozen other Georgia school districts have launched stop-arm camera programs. As a recent example, City Schools of Decatur deployed American Traffic Solutions’ CrossingGuard system at the beginning of this school year.