RICHMOND, Va -- Richmond school leaders and police are set to launch a program that would fine drivers who pass school buses with the stop arms out and lights on. Richmond Public School officials said 50 of their school buses are equipped with stop-arm camera systems and officers will start handing out tickets as soon as April 24.
Each bus is outfitted with 13 cameras and can monitor traffic four lanes over in both directions. Drivers who pass a stopped school bus with its stop arm out and its lights on would be assessed a $250 fine, and video captured by the stop arm cameras will be used to issue citations, officials said. It is against state law to pass a stopped school bus with its arm out unless a driver is separated by a physical median.
Drivers who pass a stopped school bus with its stop arm out and its lights on would be assessed a $250 fine, and video captured by the stop-arm cameras will be used to issue citations, officials said. It is against state law to pass a stopped school bus with its arm out unless a driver is separated by a physical median.
"We truly appreciate the partnership with the Richmond Police Department in helping to ensure that our students are transported safely to and from school each day,” RPS Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden said in a distributed news release. “The installation of the stop-arm cameras not only helps to identify violators on the outside of the buses, but the cameras on the inside of our school buses is an added resource that will assist our drivers with monitoring activity on the buses, as well.”
“The Richmond Police Department has responded in the past to children who were struck by speeding motorists or vehicle operators who failed to stop for children approaching or exiting school buses. Motorists who fail to observe the stop signs and control arms will be cited,” said Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham.
The technology comes at no cost to the school district, according to a representative for Force Multiplier Solutions, who installed the cameras. The company pays to equip the buses for free, but is compensated with some of the penalty monies. The company representative told CBS 6 the only people who pay for the stop-arm camera system are “the company and the drivers who violate the law.”
Chesterfield County schools tested a pilot program on their buses, but the board of supervisors never passed an ordinance to allow the fines.