Clayton County Schools in Jonesboro, Ga., a suburb located about 18 miles south of Atlanta, announced this week it is partnering with American Traffic Solutions to deploy the CrossingGuard video enforcement program to capture motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The state passed a law two years ago allowing school districts to install video cameras on the outside of buses near the stop arm to catch the these violators in the act. When the stop arm is deployed, sensors automatically detect a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction capturing video of the violation and the vehicle's license plate.
The violation video is then reviewed by, in this case, the Clayton County Police Department for approval prior to a citation being issued. In Georgia, the penalty for the first stop-arm violation is a $300 fine, a $750 fine for the second violation and a third violation in a five-year period will result in a $1,000 fine.
"Our goal is to educate and awaken drivers to the dangers of illegally passing school buses," said Harold Walker, director of transportation for Clayton County, which serves students in a 145 square-mile area. "This program is designed to teach drivers the school bus stop arm laws and change their behaviors in a positive way to protect the lives of the children who ride a school bus to and from school every day."
"We are excited about this collaboration between Clayton County, Clayton County Schools and American Traffic Solutions," added Jeffrey Turner, chairman of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners. "This new technology will, no doubt, enhance the safety of our highways by protecting all of us--most importantly our most valued resource, our children."
Over the past two school years, ATS has added 10 districts clients in Georgia, alone. A spokeswoman told STN that the company operates enforcement programs in more than 80 percent of the buses in Georgia that have stop-arm cameras installed. ATS partners with AngelTrax for the camera hardware.
The ATS spokeswoman added another school district is expected to finalize a contract this fall.