The city of Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls City School District have teamed up with BusPatrol to launch a school bus safety program that includes the addition of stop-arm cameras and other technology to the district's buses.
Beginning September 1, all 100 of Niagara Falls City School District’s buses will be outfitted with stop-arm and cloud-connected 360-degree safety cameras, 4G LTE connectivity, DVR and storage devices, and GPS and telemetry solutions, according to a news release from BusPatrol. The new technology will reportedly be installed at no cost to the district, city, or taxpayers and will be funded by fines received from stop-arm violations over a five-year term.
As previously reported, in fall 2019, the city of Niagara Falls conducted a pilot program with BusPatrol to identify the risk of stop-arm violations. During the pilot, two of Niagara Falls City School District’s buses were equipped with stop-arm cameras and were illegally passed an average of 30 to 40 times per day, according to the company.
Additionally, based on statewide surveys conducted by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, motorists across the state reportedly pass stopped school buses 50,000 times per day while red lights are flashing, and students are being loaded or unloaded from school buses.
“The safety of our children is paramount,” said Mark Laurrie, superintendernt of Niagara Falls City School District, in BusPatrol’s news release. “During a trial period of time, with only two buses having cameras, far too many cars illegally passed stopped buses. This program will send a strong message that the safety of children on and around buses must be taken very seriously.”
Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino added in the release that “The city is continuing its commitment to working together with the school district in finding the right partners for programs like this that increase safety throughout our community.”
“Our safety programs are proven to reduce the number of illegal passes by up to 30% year-over-year,” said Jean Souliere, founder and CEO of BausPatrol “We look forward to inciting a similar change in driver behavior in Niagara Falls, and helping the city to put safety first.”