According to data from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), there are more than 17 million stop-arm violations in the US each year. That means that 17 million times a year, a child is at risk as they step on and off the bus. Modern stop-arm enforcement technology can safeguard students on their journey to and from school, and change driver behavior around the school bus.
17 million reasons to implement a stop-arm safety program
BusPatrol’s safety program can be implemented across your entire fleet at zero cost to the school district, municipality, or taxpayer. With access to BusPatrol technology, school districts can cloud-connect all buses, use external stop-arm cameras, internal cameras, route planning services, and more. This means that student transportation departments can improve student safety by modernizing their fleet. With all of this safety technology at zero cost, you may be asking, why hasn’t your school district launched a stop-arm safety program yet?
Read on to discover some of the barriers and misconceptions preventing school districts from implementing a school bus stop-arm safety program.
Stop-Arm Enforcement Cameras Aren’t Permitted in Your State
Legislation could be the reason that your school district hasn’t implemented a stop-arm enforcement program just yet. This was the case for Montgomery County Public Schools (MPCS) in Maryland. The transportation director of MCPS explained that he had to wait for the state law to pass in Maryland before implementing the program.
As part of our mission to improve road safety for students everywhere, BusPatrol works with communities to change legislation in states that do not currently permit stop-arm cameras. We conduct stop-arm camera pilot programs to highlight the number of stop-arm violations that occur in select communities. As well as this, we work to raise state awareness about the dangers that children face as they travel to and from school and the importance of better stop-arm enforcement.
Contact us today if you would like to find out more about changing legislation in your state to improve student safety.
Your Student Transportation Department Doesn’t Know That This Program Exists
Another barrier to student safety in your community could be a lack of knowledge. According to Andy Hawkins, the Executive Director of Finance and Operations at Manassas City Public Schools, the reason the district did not implement a stop-arm safety program earlier was a lack of knowledge and awareness about the reality of stop-arm violations and the solutions out there. When a pilot program revealed that every school bus in his fleet was passed an average of 35 times a year, he was shocked. Speaking about the stop-arm enforcement technology he confessed: “We just didn’t know about it. We were unaware that the technology was available.”
As well as implementing stop-arm enforcement technology, BusPatrol works to educate communities across North America. We teach children the safest way to get on and off the school bus, and motorists the best driving practices when a school bus is on the road.
We encourage anyone reading this in a school district without a stop-arm enforcement program to write to their student transportation department about the stop-arm enforcement solutions out there.
Concerns That These Programs Require Extra Money, Time, and Resources
School districts with limited budgets might have concerns that a school bus arm enforcement solution requires extra funding, time, and resources to maintain. For AJ Huddleston, the Assistant Transportation Director at Burke County Public Schools in Georgia, these were exactly his concerns before partnering with BusPatrol. He said: “Money was a barrier. We did have cameras in place, but we didn’t have the time to watch every tape daily to catch the stop-arm violations.”
BusPatrol created a business model that could be implemented and maintained at zero cost to the school district, municipality, or taxpayer. As well as this, the team at BusPatrol takes on a significant share of program management. We review the footage, create evidence packages, and manage the installation and maintenance of the equipment. In fact, one of the only things we don’t do is make the final decision on a violation as this is decided by local law enforcement.
Interested in implementing a safety program in your school district?
Contact BusPatrol to find out more about improving student safety!
*States that permit stop-arm cameras include: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.