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District takes steps to improve student safety on buses

Photo shows the stop-arm of a RHCSD bus with bank of cameras just behind itA rear-facing BusPatrol camera installed on a RHCSD busThe district recently equipped all its school buses with technology from BusPatrol to automatically record the details needed for a motorist to receive a citation from local law enforcement for passing a stopped bus. Red Hook joins several other districts in Dutchess County to implement this system which is provided free to the district. A portion of every citation paid goes to BusPatrol to cover the costs of the system. 

New York State is one of 10 states that allow for fully automated enforcement processes when a driver passes a stopped school bus.  

When a school bus is preparing to stop and its lights and stop-arm are activated, BusPatrol safety technology is triggered. AI-enabled stop-arm cameras capture incidents involving vehicles illegally passing the bus. The data is sent to the company’s safety experts, who review the footage and prepare evidence packages for local law 

enforcement. Stop-arm cameras identify illegal passers using the vehicle’s license plate number. Citations are issued to a vehicle’s registered owner by BusPatrol using postal mail. In most states, a first-time stop-arm violation carries a fine of $250 to $350. Subsequent violations can cost thousands of dollars. 

According to the company, driver data demonstrates that 98 percent of first-time offenders do not receive a second 

ticket, and that 95 percent of drivers do not contest their ticket after seeing video evidence of their violation.

The district expects to see a significant drop in instances of motorists passing its stopped school buses because of implementing this technology.