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Cameras catch drivers passing stopped school buses

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It happens all of the time.

Drivers break the law by passing a school bus that is stopped, has its flashing red lights on and its stop sign is displayed.

“Every day in Arizona, more than 1,400 drivers run school bus stop arms,” said Charles Territo of Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions. “Across the country, nearly 72,000 drivers a day illegally pass school bus stop arms.”

Territo said his company has just the thing to make kids safer while they’re getting on and off the school bus. It is offering to give school districts a “crossing guard.”

” ‘Crossing guard’ is a camera that is mounted on the side of the school bus and it captures images of drivers who illegally pass the school bus stoplight,” he said. “It captures vehicles that not only pass the front of the bus, but also the rear of the bus.”

The videos are then sent to police, who decide whether to send the driver a traffic ticket. Territo said the company is offering the cameras at no cost to the school districts.

The fees for the cameras are paid through money from the fines that drivers pay if they are ticketed.

School districts in several states are already using the cameras.

“Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state have all passed legislation enabling the use of this type of technology to cut down on the number of school bus stop sign runners,” Territo said.

Territo said no Arizona districts have expressed interest in the cameras yet, but he believes it’s just a matter of time before they do.

Watch a video of how the technology works below.