School bus operators have another option when attempting to help law enforcement prosecute motorists who illegally pass school buses that are stopped to load and unload children, a growing focus nationwide.
Radio Engineering Industries, Inc. (REI) introduced this month a new high-resolution camera with day and night optimization that is mounted on school bus stop arms to capture license plate information of these offenders.
A company spokesman called the solution "definitely unique," as the stop-arm camera integrate with REI's BUS-WATCH mobile video surveillance systems and the A.R.M.O.R.-VMS software solution, the latter which allows operators to set safety alerts. The camera also has an optimized day/night setting to clearly capture the license plate information as well as vehicle color, make and model and passenger description.
"The customer simply needs to purchase our new stop-arm camera and plug it into an REI DVR," explained Chris Shigley, REI’s national sales manager for the school bus market. "Many other license plate recognition systems operate independently from existing on-board DVR technology, so schools aren't able to take advantage of existing technology in their vehicles, which ultimately becomes very expensive. REI’s approach of seamlessly integrating our stop-arm camera with existing REI DVR technology provides a fully integrated, economical solution for schools.”
Last year, the National Association for State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conducted a nationwide survey of one-day instances of illegal school bus passings. Twenty-eight states participated and reported 37,756 total stop arm passing incidents, as recorded by nearly 112,000 bus drivers, about a quarter of all bus drivers nationwide.
NASDPTS added that, in a typical 180-day school year, the 76,685 vehicles that passed school buses illegally represent well over 13 million violations by private motorists. States nationwide are currently performing a second annual count, results of which are expected to be released this summer.