School District Exploring use of Cameras to Catch School Bus Stop Sign Violators

Courtney Williams's picture
Monday, February 6, 2012

Motorists might find a ticket in their mailbox if they blow through the stop sign on the side of a stopped school bus because of a novel idea being explored by the Palm Beach County School District to raise money for transportation and increase safety for children around buses.

"It's a little out-of-the-box thinking," District Chief of Support Operations Joe Sanches told school board members about a plan the district is in the very early stages of exploring that could use cameras school buses the same way that some cities use cameras to catch red-light runners.

The district is trying camera systems on two buses, Sanches said. The cameras are not sending out any tickets or warnings, just taking video of cars that blow through the "stop arm" sign that swings out from the side of a bus, Sanches said at a board workshop on how to save money on the transportation earlier this week.

Transportation General Manager Pete DiDonato said the original intent of the piloted camera systems is to give drivers a 360-degree view of what is happening outside their bus to improve safety. But the cameras have the capability of taking pictures and video of motorists and capturing their license plate numbers.

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