School bus stop arm

Recent legislation enacted in Florida (and 23 other states) allows for the use of video evidence to enforce stop-arm violations, holding violators accountable and hopefully reducing the number of incidents in the future.

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Safe Fleet, a provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles, announced the launch of its Stop Arm Violation Enforcement System (SAVES) at the Florida Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference. Set to transform school bus safety, SAVES leverages advanced AI technology to capture and process stop-arm violations with unparalleled accuracy, providing comprehensive evidence to aid in deterring future incidents and protecting students.

SAVES provides enhanced accuracy in capturing evidence of illegal-passing violations with precision. Using strategically placed cameras on the sides of the school bus, including ALPR (Automated License Plate Recognition) and context cameras, SAVES effectively delivers evidence of violations through a comprehensive evidence package.

Data collected by the SAVES system is available via a visual dashboard, helping identify violation hotspots. These data insights aid school districts in routing school buses away from high-risk locations and offer actionable data to law enforcement agencies for enforcement and monitoring.

“At Safe Fleet, we strive to make our children’s journey to and from school as safe as possible,” said Mike Hagan, senior VP of passenger transportation, law, and waste. “SAVES is not just a technological advancement; it’s a critical tool in our mission to protect students and change driver behavior. By integrating AI and advanced algorithms, we’re setting a new standard in school bus safety technology and working tirelessly to reduce the risk of stop-arm violations.”

SAVES is the latest product in Safe Fleet’s Illegal Passing Suite, a three-step approach to increasing student safety around the bus:

  • Improve visibility: Safe Fleet’s illuminated stop arms and LED driver alerts make the bus more visible, notifying motorists they need to stop.
  • Proactive alerts: The Safe Fleet Predictive Stop Arm uses radar, predictive analytics, and AI to assess danger and audibly warn students it’s not safe to cross.
  • Enforce safe driving: SAVES by Safe Fleet automatically captures and processes stop-arm violations to aid in issuing citations and deter future incidents.

School buses are the safest way for students to travel to and from school, yet their safety is most at risk when they cross the street to board or disembark. Statistics from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services reveal a troubling increase in such incidents, with an estimated 43.5 million illegal passes occurring across the United States in the 2022-2023 school year, marking a more than 4% rise from the previous year.

Recent legislation enacted in Florida (and 23 other states) allows for the use of video evidence to enforce stop-arm violations, holding violators accountable and hopefully reducing the number of incidents in the future.

Osceola, Collier, Lee, Alachua, and Flagler school districts in Florida are currently piloting the SAVES system.

“With the system installed on just three buses since December, we’ve detected over 500 violations. That’s terrifying to us as school bus operators. This system presents an opportunity to help modify motorist behavior with the goal of improving the safety of students,” said Randy Wheeler, assistant transportation director for Osceola School District.

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