Arm Cameras

School Bus Stop Arm Cameras Already Making a Difference in New Prague

Thanks to a state grant project, one Minnesota school district has already had success holding motorists responsible when they pass school buses.

For school districts to install cameras on school bus stop arms, the state has given grants totaling millions of dollars. The fourth round of grants from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety included an additional $1.4 million, according to an announcement made this week.

One of the initial districts to receive the grant was New Prague Area Schools. In February 2022, the state awarded nearly $120,000, allowing district officials to install new 41 camera systems.

The program has already been a great success, according to Tim Dvorak, the district’s lead mechanic.

The district has already reported 75 stop arm violations thus far in the current academic year. In comparison, there were five infractions throughout the entire school year 2021–2022. Law enforcement agencies receive the license plate details and a description of the vehicle from district officials, and officers then decide what to do.

“We’ve had one (violation) where (the driver passes) on the left side after the bus is stopped, but the majority of them are the buses going north and the other vehicle’s going south,” Dvorak explained.

A driver who is caught on camera passing a school bus illegally. (FOX 9)

Following their discovery that many of the offenders were high school students, district officials in November sent an email to families outlining the rules of the road.

Dvorak sent videos to FOX 9 of cars speeding past school buses that were stopped. One video shows students who are about to cross the street as a car passes by.

“They didn’t see it is a common defense given by people. How are they supposed to see the little kid who is crossing the road if you didn’t see a big yellow bus with flashing lights on it?” Dvorak said.

It’s challenging to watch videos of stop arm violations, but it’s even more challenging to be driving while they’re taking place.

“They occasionally fail to even give you a glance. Or they look at you and they just drive on by,” said Bus driver for 34 years in New Prague, Alice Chlan.

The cameras help drivers like Chlan to worry about one less thing while driving.

“When we didn’t have the cameras, it was almost impossible to get the license number or the color of the car or if it was a man or a lady driving the car because they’re going by so fast,” she explained.

Instead, she is able to concentrate on the most crucial aspect of her job.

“I want to transport my children safely to and from school. I treat my kids on my bus just like if they were my own,” she said.

Read More: Are There Cameras in Movie Theaters?

Source: fox9

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