Pittsburgh Public Schools is announcing the start of the warning period of its school bus stop-arm camera program to protect students from the pervasive issue of motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus. The warning period will begin Wednesday, May 17, and run until the program officially goes live July 3, following a robust public awareness campaign launched last August. During the warning period, any motorist who fails to stop for a school bus when its red lights are flashing, and the stop-arm is extended will receive a warning letter in the mail about the violation with no monetary penalty.
“Our efforts to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our students is multifaceted and require the commitment of the entire community,” said Dr. Wayne N. Walters, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools. “The upgrades we have made to our bus fleet at no cost to taxpayers will help end the reckless driving habits putting the lives of our students at risk as they enter and exit the school bus.”
The program is in partnership with BusPatrol, North America’s leading provider of school bus safety programs. These programs have been proven to reduce the rate of illegal passings and offer full-fleet deployment of safety technology through a unique violator-funded program. The reckless motorists who put children at risk bear the costs.
“When it comes to using every tool available to protect the safety of our children, Pittsburgh Public Schools has established itself as a statewide leader, said Steve Randazzo, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at BusPatrol. “As a safety technology company, BusPatrol is proud to partner with school districts all across Pennsylvania to make the journey to and from school safer.”
At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Pittsburgh Public Schools modernized its fleet of over 150 buses with the most advanced safety technology. This upgrade includes stop-arm cameras to help communities enforce school bus-stopping laws, which capture the license plates of vehicles that violate these laws. The technology, installation, and maintenance are provided at no cost to the school district or taxpayers.
Since January of this year, over 10,000 estimated violations were captured by Pittsburgh Public Schools stop-arm cameras, averaging 92.9 offenses per weekday. Since the launch of its pilot in April 2022, District stop-arm cameras have captured more than 19,000 violations.
Pittsburgh is among more than 20 school districts across Pennsylvania that have launched school bus safety programs in partnership with BusPatrol. Automated stop-arm enforcement solutions provide schools and local law enforcement with enhanced enforcement capabilities to reduce the number of school bus violations.
Pennsylvania State law requires that motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. The penalty for a first-time violation is $300. Resources and more information about the District’s stop-arm camera safety program can be found at pghschools.org/buspatrol.