Rensselaer City School District and the City of Rensselaer today announce a new addition to its #PartnersinSafety team, BusPatrol. The new partnership will tackle the pervasive issue of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses and putting children at risk.
As part of the partnership, the entire fleet of buses in the Rensselaer City School District will be outfitted with advanced safety technology, including AI-powered cameras to detect the license plates of vehicles that violate school bus safety traffic laws. The technology, installation, and maintenance are provided at zero cost to the school district or taxpayers through BusPatrol’s violator-funded program.
Joseph Kardash, the Superintendent of Schools, said: “Our district is excited to work with our #PartnersInSafety to make the trips to and from school as safe as possible. It takes a team to get this done and we have a great team.”
The partnership with the City of Rensselaer follows the success of BusPatrol’s programs in New York State, including Albany County, Dutchess County, Suffolk County, the Town of Hempstead, and the City of Niagara Falls.
“Every day in New York state, 50,000 drivers blow past stopped school buses,” said Jean Souliere, CEO and Founder at BusPatrol. “We are on a mission to change the driving culture and this public safety program will stop reckless drivers from endangering our children.”
The program is poised to go live in February 2023, following an education and awareness campaign to remind motorists of school bus safety laws. This includes the installation of road signs in high violation areas. Starting in January, motorists who fail to stop for a stopped school bus with its stop-arm extended and red lights activated will receive a warning letter in the mail with no monetary penalty.
It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing. According to New York State DMV, traffic approaching from either direction must stop before reaching the bus:
- On a two-lane road.
- On multi-lane highways.
- On divided highways.
A first-time stop-arm violation carries a fine of $250. Subsequence violations within an 18-month period are subject to a $25 increase, up to a maximum of $300.