Safe Kids Worldwide Promotes Stop-Arm Camera Advocacy
published on February 02, 2018 by Sonia Mastros
It’s a situation bus drivers have seen countless times: They bring the bus to a stop, extend the stop-arm, begin to let students disembark – only to see a car behind them ignore the stop sign and speed past. Every time this happens, children are endangered, and estimates are that it happens millions of times a year in America.
There’s one tactic which has shown promise in cutting down on this trend: stop-arm cameras. Much like stoplight cameras, these can capture the details of cars which disregard the bus’s stop sign, sending automated tickets to violators. Tests performed in districts with stop-arm cameras have suggested it can decrease violations by 15% in only a single year.
Unfortunately, there is a problem here: In most states and counties, laws need to be passed making stop-arm cameras legal. This is why the stop-arm camera advocacy program from Safe Kids Worldwide is so important.
Bringing Stop-Arm Camera Advocacy to Your District
Safe Kids Worldwide is a non-profit group dedicated to highlighting factors in the modern world which make children unsafe, and looks for solutions. Obviously, stop-arm violations are a prime example of this. So they have put together a toolkit addressing several child dangers around schools, including stop-arm violations.
To this end, they have also created a very handy Guide to Stop-Arm Camera Advocacy, which has almost everything you need to know about the current state of stop-arm camera laws around the nation and how you can go about pushing for them in your own district. This includes a template letter which can be sent to local or state officials outlining why such cameras are needed. It also has plenty of good tips for getting certain key players on your side, such as bus drivers and the police force.
Even better, there are options for school districts to install the stop-arm cameras at little or no cost to the districts. An organization called BusPatrol will provide the technology and installation, in exchange for a portion of the citation revenue generated. It’s a fair deal all around, and one that puts stop-arm cameras within reach of virtually any city or district which can successfully pass the relevant laws authorizing their use.
No measure will ever entirely prevent stop-arm violations, but stop-arm cameras are inexpensive to implement and have proven effective in reducing infractions. They truly could save lives, as well as making the public more aware of why it’s so important to obey a school bus stop sign.
How about your district? Is there a discussion about stop-arm cameras happening in your area? Let's talk about it in the comments below: