All South Bend school buses now have stop arm cameras to catch violators
Source: By DJ Manou, WSBT 22 Reporter. Thursday, August 15th 2019.
SOUTH BEND — South Bend students were back on the buses Thursday, and all of those buses now have stop arm cameras.
We got a look at how they work. The cameras not only have a wide scope covering four lanes, but also have night vision. Whenever the buses are on, the cameras are recording.
South Bend School Corporation is making it clear, passing a school bus with its stop arms out will not be tolerated.
Some buses had cameras last year, but this school year every bus is equipped and rolling.
“We are committed to student safety,” said Todd Cummings, South Bend Schools superintendent. “We are committed to monitoring the stop arm violations. We ask folks when they see the red lights stop, turn on your hazards and let our students get on the bus.”
Cummings says the district made sure the cameras were ready for Thursday.
Three kids were killed in Fulton County last year, crossing a highway to get on their bus. That tragedy was the extra push to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here.
“The tragedies happened in our area,” said Rene Sanchez, chief operations officer. “So this was a really easy way for us to make sure that the urgency was there. On the part of the budgeting, on the part the installation, so that way we know that we will be able to keep our students safe.”
Sanchez says it’s a regular occurrence to have drivers pass a bus when the stop arms are out.
“Usually it’s not necessarily the people driving behind the buses, it’s the people who are coming towards the bus,” said Sanchez. “We will be able to zoom in on whatever it is that we are going to need to zoom in on, to be able to identify the vehicle that is passing by.”
Cummings says the cameras are a big step in protecting students, but it’s not the only change the district has made to reduce the risks.
“We are also rerouting our buses away from busy intersections, ensuring curb side pickup for all of our students,” said Cummings.
Any violations caught on camera will be sent directly to the police, where they can get a hold of the driver.
With drivers now constantly on camera, the district hopes people will pay attention and think twice before trying to pass a bus.