Every day, drivers illegally pass stopped school buses, needlessly putting children at risk. According to data from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), there are an estimated 17 million stop-arm violations each year in the United States. To tackle this issue, school districts are using stop-arm cameras to enforce school bus stopping laws and change driver behavior for good.
Despite their safety benefits, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding school bus cameras and stop-arm enforcement programs. In this blog post, we debunk some of the most common myths. Read on to learn more.
Myth One: Stop-Arm Cameras Are Expensive for School Districts to Install and Maintain
FACT: BusPatrol Covers the Cost of Equipment, Installation, and Maintenance
School districts can equip their entire fleets with safety technology such as school bus cameras at zero cost by partnering with BusPatrol. As part of our commitment to putting safety first, BusPatrol covers the cost of the equipment, installation, and maintenance. This includes stop-arm cameras, as well as other advanced safety technology such as 4G LTE connectivity, DVR and storage devices, and GPS and telemetry.
In addition, school districts can benefit from BusPatrol’s “Beyond Enforcement” safety package. The package includes:
- Cloud-Managed 360° Safety Cameras (interior, windshield, rearview, and side load cameras)
- BusPatrol Silent Alarm – Emergency response management notifications
- Data dashboards with full-fleet insights
- Access to BusPatrol Console, a cloud platform to manage technology across school bus fleets
Drivers That Illegally Pass School Buses Pay for the Technology
School districts, cities and counties can also choose to modernize their fleets with solutions from BusPatrol’s technology partners. Our $0 program add-ons include hardware and software from industry leaders including Samsung, AT&T, FirstNet, Zonar, BusPlanner and Transfinder. These add-ons encompass:
- Cellular connectivity and cloud enablement
- COVID-19 mitigation technology
- Emergency response management
- Smart fleet management solutions
- Route planning
- School bus tracking and routing solutions
The BusPatrol School Bus Safety Program is violator-funded, meaning that revenue generated from violations is used to fund the program over a five-year term. In the rare case that a partner issues no tickets, BusPatrol will even absorb these costs.
School districts and municipalities do not take on any of the financial risks of implementing their programs. Any additional revenues can be leveraged by the school district to further invest in safety education and community initiatives.
Myth Two: Stop-Arm Enforcement Programs Are Difficult to Implement
FACT: BusPatrol Implements Turnkey Stop-Arm Safety Programs in Partner Districts
BusPatrol offers an end-to-end stop-arm enforcement solution, managing everything from capturing evidence to delivering citations. We use AI-powered technology to automate processes where possible so that our staff and Safety Partners can maximize efficiency and save time and resources.
BusPatrol works closely with school districts, cities, counties and local law enforcement to implement safety programs. Our partners rely on our experienced project managers and staff to perform all necessary services required to manage your safety program. These include:
- Installation and deployment of safety technology;
- Complete citation management;
- Violator support and call center management;
- Ongoing support for community stakeholders;
- Collections and payment processing;
- Contestation and adjudication services;
- Project management for program deployment;
- Monthly reporting and data management.
Bus Drivers and School Transportation Officials Can Focus on the Road
The BusPatrol School Bus Safety Program is entirely automated, requiring no input from bus drivers. If a car illegally passes a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing and stop-arm deployed, the cameras will capture the incident and upload the evidence package to a secure online portal for police review. Once approved, BusPatrol helps issue a citation by mail and offers violator support to educate drivers on school bus stopping laws.
According to reports from our safety partners, the BusPatrol program gives bus drivers and student transportation directors peace of mind knowing that any drivers that illegally pass their stop-arm will receive a citation. With the program in place, those responsible for pupil transportation can focus on the road and students on board, without worrying about reporting potential stop-arm violations.
Myth Three: School Bus Cameras Don’t Change Driver Behavior
FACT: Stop-Arm Enforcement Programs Can Reduce Stop-Arm Violations by 30% YoY
Stop-arm cameras are proven to improve school bus safety by reducing the rate of illegal passings. After implementing a BusPatrol School Bus Safety Program, communities see a reduction in stop-arm violations of up to 30% year over year.
Driver Education – Beyond Enforcement
BusPatrol is committed to educating communities on school bus safety. Our programs educate millions of drivers on school bus safety through PSA campaigns and program launches, with:
- Targeted ads
- Social media campaigns
- Creating educational resources for schools and DMV offices
- Press conferences
When a stop-arm citation is issued to a motorist, the violator can click a link to the BusPatrol Driver Education and Payment Portal to view the evidence and learn from the incident. They can also call our toll-free support center to learn more about school bus stopping laws and how to correct their behavior.
As a result, almost all (98%) first-time violators do not receive a second ticket. This suggests that school bus cameras are an effective means of enforcing school bus stopping laws and preventing drivers from illegally passing school buses.
Myth Four: It’s Illegal to Use Stop-Arm Cameras
FACT: Legislation Regarding Stop-Arm Enforcement Varies from State to State
Fact or fiction… it depends where you live. BusPatrol is actively working to change legislation in states that do not permit the use of stop-arm cameras or have laws that support fully automated enforcement programs. We work alongside communities including parents and teachers to campaign for the use of school bus safety technology. Most recently, we supported Amber Clark and Red Means Stop, to advocate for the use of school bus cameras in Pennsylvania. The bill passed in July 2020.
If you have any questions about school bus camera laws in your state, please contact BusPatrol here. A safety representative will be in touch to answer any questions that you may have and see how we can work together to make roads safer in your community.
Are you interested in learning more about stop-arm cameras?
Follow this link to submit an inquiry and a BusPatrol Safety Representative will be in touch!