Blue Bird Corporation announced it reached an agreement with Redflex Traffic Systems to distribute the Redflex Student Guardian safety camera system that detects when motorists illegally pass school buses that are stopped to load and unload students.
Cameras mounted on the front and rear driver's side of school buses automatically record photos and videos of any passing vehicle once the stop arm is extended and amber lights are flashing during a stop. Redflex Traffic Systems then reviews the data and inputs it into an electronic evidence file for review by local law enforcement. Only then can a citation be issued. The company added that the systems are fully funded by revenue from violation fines, so they operate at no cost to taxpayers and without any upfront capital expenditures to school districts, municipalities or third-party bus contractors.
"This swift procedure is seamless for districts and contractors, as all steps of this process are handled by Redflex. This is truly a turnkey program," said Thomas O'Connor, president of Redflex Student Guardian, a wholly owned subsidiary of Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.
Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird, said the deal enables customers to specify Redflex Student Guardian from any authorized dealer in North America.
"Safety is behind every design and manufacturing initiative at Blue Bird. This valuable effort with Redflex provides school districts and contractors with an additional resource in further ensuring student safety, with the notable and unique element of integrated enforcement," Horlock added.
At this report, nine states permit school districts to use automated enforcement surveillance systems on school bus stop arms, and legislators in seven more states are exploring opportunities for enablement.
"It's unrealistic to think law enforcement officers can patrol hundreds of school bus routes on their own every day," said O'Connor. "Not only do the safety cameras monitor and deter drivers from breaking the law, they raise community awareness about school bus safety in general."
NASDPTS said 88,000 vehicles illegally passed 100,000 school buses in 28 states last year, figures that were reported in a one-day survey last spring. NASDPTS extrapolated from those results that 16 million motorists break the school-bus stop law during a typical 180-day school year.
"Photo enforcement is one of the most effective ways to curb illegal school bus passing, while also holding violators accountable," said Karen Finley, president and CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems. "Student Guardian serves as a constant reminder for drivers to stop behind every school bus and make sure those students are safe."