GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Starting Wednesday school buses in Georgetown will have safety camera’s to ID drivers who fail to stop when buses are dropping off students and picking them up.
American Traffic Solutions, an Arizona based company, is footing the bill and has installed the cameras on five of the 112 buses. Georgetown ISD Transportation Director Walt Prothro said they’ll continually check for “hotspots”, areas where they see frequent violations, and rotate the buses with the cameras.
The fully automated cameras, which cost between $6,000 and $8,000, turn on when the school bus stop arm goes out. It’s able to detect when a car breaks the law, takes a picture of the driver’s license plate, records the act and everything is immediately uploaded.
“What we’ve seen so far from our programs from throughout the United States is that they’ve been very effective,” said Charle Territo, American Traffic Solutions’ Vice President. ” 99 percent of the individuals who have received a violation from one of our school bus stopped arms cameras haven’t received a second. It really shows it doesn’t take much for them to get the message that running a stop arm is illegal.”
The company will review the images and video and send it back to Georgetown Police.
“It’s going to give us an extra set of eyes and ears out on the road,” said Capt. Roland Waits, Georgetown Police public information officer. He said in the past school bus drivers would try to write down people’s licenses plates, call back into dispatch, then get an officer. “What this does, it records the violation almost in real time sends it to ATS to where they can review it and send it to us.”
Waits said the ticket is pretty hefty. If a driver is caught passing a stopped school bus with it’s stop arm out, their first ticket will be $300, second $600. If it happens again within 36 months, it will be $900.
American Traffic Solutions will receive 60 percent of the profit and the rest is split between Georgetown Police and GISD.