The Averill Park Central School District and Bus Patrol have launched a school bus safety program in partnership with the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department.
As part of this program, all District school buses will be equipped with stop-arm enforcement cameras that are designed to detect vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses that are actively loading or unloading students.
Bus Patrol is scheduled to install the new cameras from mid-February to mid-March with all buses in the fleet becoming operational by April 1, 2023. Please note that as the cameras are installed, they will become operational. As of Monday, January 30, five buses in the APCSD fleet have new cameras installed and are running. There will be a limited grace period for the first month where violators will be issued a warning. Once that period is over, violators will be issued citations in the mail each time they illegally pass a school bus that has its red lights flashing.
Students, parents and staff should practice caution while driving in parking lots at each of the schools in the District. Regardless of where a bus is loading or unloading students, if the red lights are flashing and you pass by the bus, you will be issued a ticket. Keep in mind that this is not just a District initiative. All school buses in Rensselaer County, and many throughout the country, are being equipped with stop-arm cameras.
According to NASDPTS, school buses are unlawfully passed more than 17 million times each year throughout the United States.
What happens if you illegally pass a stopped school bus equipped with stop-arm cameras?
Cameras on the side of the school bus will capture violations, including a photo of the vehicle’s license plate. Data is sent via an encrypted network to Bus Patrol. Trained reviewers will verify the incident and send an evidence package to law enforcement. Law enforcement then reviews the data, approves citations, and mails them to the violator. The driver will then make a payment online or by mail.