Drivers urged to stop for school buses as hundreds of Monroe County buses receive safety upgrade
Some school buses in Monroe County are getting an upgrade as part of a camera safety program. Hilton has become one of the latest school districts in the county to take part in this program.
More than 400 buses are being outfitted with security cameras attached to the stop sign arm to capture the license plate numbers of any car that illegally passes a stopped bus.
Motorists are legally required to stop and wait for a school bus when its stop sign is extended, no matter from which side of the street the school bus is on in relation to the vehicle.
“I think there's a really dangerous culture right now, where drivers might be in a hurry, and they might try to speed up and drive around the bus,” Said BusPatrol spokesperson Kate Spree. The company provides artificial intelligence safety cameras to districts.
“Young children are obviously, maybe not paying attention, they might run across the street, and they might not be seen by motorists in a hurry,” she said, adding that instilling a culture of awareness and responsibility for motorists around school buses is crucial to keep children safe.
According to New York state, school buses are illegally passed 50,000 times each school day. A survey published by the National Association of State Director of Pupil Transportation earlier this year shows that school buses across the nation are illegally passed more than 41.8 million times per year.
From now through Nov. 15 any violators who illegally pass one of the buses equipped with a camera will receive a warning in the mail. After the grace period, violators could receive a fine, points on their driver's license, and possibly jail time in accordance with state law.
The Hilton, Webster, East Irondequoit, Spencerport school districts and Monroe 2 BOCES have opted in to the program.
“Hilton Central School District is sending a clear message: the safety of our children is non-negotiable,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement. He added that he’s grateful to all district’s in the county “who have signed on to participate in this program, which will ensure our kids are safer as they walk to and from their school buses.”