Brevard Public Schools is pleased to announce their participation in a pilot program with safety technology company BusPatrol to tackle the troubling issue of the illegal passing of stopped school buses. The district has embarked on this journey, equipping 10 buses with stop-arm cameras to deter drivers from illegally passing stopped school buses. The program will run for up to 45 school days and information will then be evaluated.
“We have experienced far too many drivers ignoring our stopped school buses while our children are trying to either get to or from school. This is grounds for serious concern as lives are at stake. We want to encourage drivers to understand the importance of stopping for school buses and this program will allow us to capture data about how often it is happening and whether we can decrease the occurrences,” said Dr. Michael Miller, Director of Transportation.
Brevard Public Schools is using this pilot program to highlight the need for better enforcement of school bus safety laws in the state. Results from the trial program will be used to campaign for legislation to authorize the use of automated stop-arm cameras throughout Florida.
The trial program will also provide data including where and when violations are most likely to occur. The school district will be able to use the results to make data-driven decisions and share this information with law enforcement to improve enforcement at ‘violation hotspots.’
Jean Souliere, CEO and Founder at BusPatrol, said: “Each school day, parents, bus drivers, and children in Florida witness reckless driving around school buses. Motorists continue to ignore the school bus stop sign and red flashing lights, putting children at risk. The results from this pilot program will be crucial in our campaign for better legislation and better technology to keep kids safe on the journey to school.”
According to reports from the Florida Department of Education, in a single day, more than 10,000 drivers in Florida unlawfully pass stopped school buses, putting children at risk. Additionally, drivers show little sign of correcting this behavior, with almost a third (28%) admitting to cutting off a school bus because it was moving too slowly in a recent AAA survey.