Newton County (Ga.) Schools will install stop-arm cameras to help keep children safer while loading and unloading area school buses.
The school district, located in Covington, about 35 miles southeast of Atlanta, is the second district in the state this year to choose the CrossingGuard powered by the Angeltrax Intelliguard camera. Video is processed by American Traffic Solutions, which developed the technology in response to growing concerns of school districts, parents, PTAs and communities across the country.
In Georgia, motorists convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus are fined $300 for the first violation, $750 for the second and $1,000 for the third offense that occurs within a five-year period.
The stop-arm cameras caption video of the motorist's license plate, and images are reviewed by law enforcement for approval prior to a citation being issued. A spokeswoman for American Traffic Solutions said the school bus cameras will be a fully operational program by "late 2012." She added that Newton County will also implement a public awareness campaign on the stop-arm cameras and on the state's illegal passing law.
“Student safety is always our primary focus,” said Michael Barr, director of support services for Newton County Schools. “This initiative provides us with a way to educate motorists about school bus stop laws and the dangers posed by drivers that violate these laws. By educating drivers and changing dangerous driving behaviors, we are better able to protect the lives of the children who ride a school bus to and from school every day. We are pleased to have this additional tool as part of our overall safety program.”
Newton County Schools Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter added: “We are excited about this collaboration between the Newton County Sheriff's Office, Newton County Schools and American Traffic Solutions. This new technology addresses the needs of our citizens and requirements for an automated, accurate and robust solution for detecting and enforcing these dangerous violations, which threaten the safety of our children.”