Use camera technology to make school buses safer, AG urges

Use camera technology to make school buses safer, AG urges

By / State News / الأربعاء, 22 تشرين1/أكتوير 2014 04:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : October 20th, 2014 - The same technology used to catch drivers who run red lights could help make North Carolina school buses safer, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
“Careless drivers are putting students’ safety at risk when they fail to stop for school buses,” Cooper said.  “Adding cameras and issuing automatic citations will help stop law breakers who put students’ lives and safety at risk, and it can also pay for itself.”
October 20-24, 2014 has been designated National School Bus Safety Week to highlight the importance of school bus safety.
A one-day survey at the beginning of this school year found that 3,153 vehicles passed stopped school buses in North Carolina, more than double the number of violators in 2000. Three North Carolina students have been injured in recent weeks while boarding school buses when drivers passed them illegally, and another NC student was killed while waiting for his school bus.
Cooper wants North Carolina to equip all public school buses in the state with cameras that would photograph the license plates of any drivers who illegally passes a stopped school bus.  In a letter sent last week, the Attorney General asked a special task force established to promote children’s safety to examine the technology and recommend the best way to implement it on North Carolina school buses.
“I believe that if the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force examines this technology and hears from stakeholders on how it’s working in other states you will conclude we should enact a law fully deploying this technology across North Carolina,” Cooper wrote in the letter.
The system proposed by Cooper would add cameras to school buses to photography the license plate of any vehicle that illegally passes a school bus which has stopped to pick up or drop off students. As with cameras posted at stoplights at some intersections, photographs of offenders’ license plates could be used to issue civil citations to registered vehicle owners. Civil penalties paid by violators would go to public schools under the state’s Constitution, so the system could pay for itself.
A number of other states have enacted similar laws, including Georgia, Maryland and Virginia, and have found that this method improves student safety and deters potentially deadly violations.
“Parents count on school buses to get their kids to school and home again safely,” Cooper said. “We need to look at adding this technology to make school bus rides safer for children.”

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