Gloucester County Public Schools announces a new partnership with BusPatrol, the leading stop-arm enforcement technology provider, to launch a school bus safety program to reduce the number of times motorists illegally pass school buses and put children at risk.
The safety program will provide GCPS school buses with advanced safety technology, including AI-powered cameras to capture the license plates of vehicles that violate school bus stopping laws. The technology installation and maintenance are provided at no cost to the school division or taxpayers and are covered through BusPatrol’s violator-funded program.
Jean Souliere, CEO and Founder at BusPatrol, said: “Every day, thousands of motorists illegally pass stopped school buses and endanger the safety of children. Our program is proven to reduce illegal passings by up to 30%. We are proud to join forces with Gloucester County Public Schools to help make roads safer for students.”
The program is poised to begin at the end of this month, following a public awareness campaign educating motorists about school bus safety laws and teaching children safety tips for getting on and off the bus.
Earlier this month, the National Association of State Director of Pupil Transportation (NASDPTS) announced the rate of school bus illegal passing is at an “epidemic level” with the results of its annual survey on school bus illegal passing. The survey results suggest that school buses are illegally passed more than 41.8 million times per year in the United States.
Gloucester County Public Schools is the latest Virginia public school division to partner with BusPatrol and follows the success of programs in Newport News Public Schools and Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools.
According to Virginia DMV, drivers must:
- Stop for stopped school buses with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign when approaching from any direction.
- Remain stopped until everyone is clear and the bus moves again.
- Stop whenever the bus is loading or unloading passengers, even if the lights and stop sign are not activated.
If a school bus is on the opposite side of a median or barrier, motorists aren’t required to stop; however, drivers should be prepared for students exiting the school bus and crossing into their lanes. The penalty for a first-time violation is $250.