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School Bus Cameras: How to Tell if the Stop-Arm Camera is On

The short answer is… it’s always on. More specifically, the school bus camera or stop-arm camera system is continuously activated on BusPatrol school buses. As the bus driver turns the engine on, the camera begins to record in HD DVR. All seven exterior cameras record automatically. The bus’s computer automatically sends the footage over our secure cellular LTE network to BusPatrol headquarters for review.

The system works by triggering stop-arm violation events. Every time the stop-arm extends, a video excerpt is automatically edited and sent to one of our safety specialists (the rest of the footage is purged from our system). BusPatrol buses can store over seven full days of footage inside and outside the bus. The school bus camera provides safety surveillance for kids inside the bus.

School bus cameras also discourage poor driving behavior around school buses. The camera is already recording before the lights flash — then our automated system starts. The system edits a short excerpt of the day’s footage which is prioritized for review. If a violation occurs, we send that footage over to the police. In short, if you see the BusPatrol logo on a school bus, the school bus camera is recording.

The Important Thing to Know About School Bus Camera Violations

Many drivers accelerate or speed up to avoid a ticket. Even though the stop-arm is not fully extended, the school bus camera is still recording. Drivers who attempt a ‘rapid pass’ will not avoid a ticket. This is because we can audit the recording before and after a driver passes. Agents at our processing center identify driver violations by time code. Besides that, we have up to seven angles from which to view a violating license plate.

Drivers must remember that the school bus camera is always on. The one sure way to avoid a ticket and most importantly safeguard the lives of children is to stop. Above all, be patient. It’s not worth putting a child’s life in danger. Therefore, wait for the school bus stop-arm to fully retract before proceeding. Consequently, the school bus camera or stop-arm camera will still record your vehicle, but if you do not pass, there will be no violation.

Understanding The Problems of School Bus Camera Violations

The school bus camera problem is vast. Montgomery County police have sent out an average of 179 of these citations a day. This represents only one county in one state. In addition, drivers are striking children at an alarming rate across America. In June a driver hit a young person and left the scene.

Due to the widespread problem, states like New York have taken immediate legislative action. New York has passed bill 50 to address the pressing issue of school bus camera violations.

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