Suffolk County, N.Y., and safety technology company BusPatrol have partnered to equip school buses operating in the area with stop-arm enforcement technology free of charge.
More than 6,000 school buses will have access to the technology, and all school districts in Suffolk County will be able to opt in to the program, making it reportedly the largest stop-arm enforcement program of its kind, according to a news release from BusPatrol.
The safety technology supplier and the county signed an agreement to move ahead with the program after results from 2019 pilot programs conducted by BusPatrol in East Meadows, Half Hollow Hills, and Niagara Falls revealed that stop-arm violations were an increasing risk to schoolchildren in the area.
The pilot program captured more than 1,800 stop-arm violations across 17 school buses, with 4.05 stop-arm violations per bus per day in one jurisdiction. The results suggest that bus drivers in New York state witness an average of 12.7 million stop-arm violations over a 180-day school year.
As part of the partnership, BusPatrol will install cloud-connected stop-arm and video cameras and 4G LTE connectivity on school buses in Suffolk County at no cost. Instead, the installation and maintenance of the stop-arm cameras will be covered by the fines collected for violations of the stop-arm law.
“We’re excited to be working with Suffolk County on the largest stop-arm enforcement program out there,” said Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol. “Suffolk County has shown impressive leadership in taking action against stop-arm violations and protecting local schoolchildren.”
Souliere added that last year’s pilot program showed that stop-arm violations are becoming an increasing problem across the state and urged other counties to step forward and drive change.
BusPatrol will reportedly have installed its safety technology solutions on over 50,000 school buses across North America by the end of 2020, including in Maryland, Virginia, and those to be installed on buses in Suffolk County.