Each school day, roughly 26 million students nationwide will ride a school bus to and from school. Sadly, some of these students will not make it back home because of the disregard thousands of motorists demonstrate daily by illegally passing school buses.
While most agree that protecting our children should be a top priority, it can be a challenge finding an effective way to hold these dangerous drivers accountable. Many video surveillance systems require some type of action by the bus driver, and the ability by law enforcement to consistently ticket motorists is often limited.
Answering the Challenge
In response to calls from school districts and law enforcement agencies for a better way to enforce school bus stop arm laws, American Traffic Solutions, Inc. has launched the CrossingGuard School Bus Arm Enforcement Solution.
The CrossingGuard solution, powered by AngelTrax's IntelliGuard Automated Detection System, takes mobile video surveillance to the next level by enabling school districts to automatically cite drivers who illegally pass school buses. This technological union combines the IntelliGuard system’s automated detection with the power of automated enforcement.
The CrossingGuard solution integrates the IntelliGuard camera system with ATS' powerful and proven back-office violation processing system. This online system – utilized by more than 300 law enforcement agencies as part of ATS' red-light and speed camera programs – enables the validation, processing and notice issuance by law enforcement for all recorded stop arm violations, while automatically generating a complete evidence package for the courts. Furthermore, all of this is available to school districts at no cost because the system is supported by the violation fines collected.
How CrossingGuard Works
The CrossingGuard School Bus Arm Enforcement Solution is a completely automated enforcement system.
When a vehicle illegally passes a parked school bus with its flashing stop arm extended, the IntelliGuard Automated Detection System automatically captures video of the violating vehicle’s license plates. This process requires no intervention by bus drivers, freeing them to focus on the boarding and disembarking safety of the children.
In addition to capturing the evidentiary video, the camera system automatically embeds violation data used to create a comprehensive evidence package, including GPS coordinates, confirmation of the stop arm being activated, confirmation that brakes were applied, and the date and time of the violation.
This complete evidence package is wirelessly transmitted to ATS' violation processing system, where the images and video can be reviewed and approved by law enforcement, resulting in the issuance of a citation to the owner of the violating vehicle.
From there, the CrossingGuard program incorporates payment collection and court support services, providing school districts with a complete end-to-end detection and enforcement solution.
The CrossingGuard School Bus Arm Enforcement Solution is currently being used by school districts in multiple pilot programs in Maryland, Georgia, Texas and Florida and will be used by the Newton County, GA and Carroll County, MD school districts starting with the 2012-2013 school year.
More Common Than You Think
Illegally passing a parked school bus while children are boarding or disembarking is more common than one might think. Study after study has found that drivers routinely disregard school buses’ flashing stop arms, putting our children in serious danger.
A 2008 survey by the Texas Transportation Institute found that 12,850 drivers illegally passed a parked school bus on a single school day.
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation estimates that more than 50,000 drivers throughout the State of New York illegally pass a parked school bus each day.
Between 2000 and 2009, almost a third of the children killed while getting on or off a school bus were struck by a vehicle other than the bus, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.