The Phoenixville Area (Pa.) School District plans to deploy safety technology, including stop-arm cameras, on all 72 of its school buses.
The BusPatrol equipment captures the license plates of motorists that illegally pass stopped buses. The automated technology is expected to help local police departments enforce school bus stopping laws. The program also aims to educate drivers on the importance of bus safety laws.
It is estimated that as many as 17-million motorists break school bus stopping laws every year in the United States. In Allentown, Pa., a recent study captured 205 stop-arm violations in 47 school days.
“We are so very pleased to be the first school district in Chester County to implement this valuable safety feature on our buses,” said Dr. Alan Fegley, superintendent of the Phoenixville schools. “Our students’ safety is our top priority, and this provides one more layer of protection in getting our students safely to and from school.”
Besides stop-arm cameras, the district will deploy 360-degree cloud-managed internal and external safety cameras and a silent alarm system. This should ensure that the student transportation department can respond in an emergency.
BusPatrol provides all technology, including installation and maintenance, at zero cost through its violator-funded model.
Jean Souliere, chief executive officer and founder at BusPatrol, said: “You cannot put a price on safety, and every child deserves maximum protection as they travel to and from school. Our violator-funded program means that drivers that break the law and put children at risk by blowing past school buses fund the technology that protects them. BusPatrol is proud to be partnering with Phoenixville Area School District to prioritize student safety and work towards a safer future.”
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. The penalty for a first-time violation is $300.