Fool-proof way to catch, identify and ticket drivers who don’t stop for school buses?
PUYALLUP -- It can be one of the most dangerous times in a young student's day; getting on or getting off their school bus.
Especially when drivers refuse to stop even though lights are flashing, the stop sign is out and the arm is extended.
"I've seen it happen all the time especially in a school zone where people don't care if children are present or not. They're more interested in getting to where they're going,” parent Robert Galardo said.
It's chilling video like this of drivers pulling around a stopped bus that has parents worried.
The danger to kids cannot be overstated.
"I'm a nurse and I see what happens children are hit even at low speeds, like 30 miles per hour and I don't think people realize how devastating it can be,” parent Ann-Marie Taroc said.
Now for the first time in Washington comes, what the developers call, a fool-proof, turnkey system to catch, identify and ticket drivers who don't stop for school buses.
Pierce County’s Bethel School District is the first in the state to deploy the new system.
It's been up and running there for two weeks.
"There is a significant school bus stop arm here in the Bethel School District. We captured nearly one violation per bus per day,” American Traffic Solutions spokesman Charlie Territo said.
The system is a product of American Traffic Solutions or ATS.
There is a camera mounted on the bus to record the alleged law breaking driver and a law officer will view the video and determine is a citation is warranted.
"The intent is and only is to ensure the safety of our kids getting off of buses and on to buses so we can get them to school safely and back home safely,” Bethel Schools Superintendent Tom Seigel said.
500 cameras currently in use around the country have already captured 25,000 violations.
Districts where the system is deployed have seen a 50 percent reduction in violations, not just on the routes where the cameras are in use, but across all routes.
Parents we spoke with think it's a great idea.
"I think it would be wise. There are cameras everywhere else why not put them on the bus to catch the people who are doing this,” parent Jenny Russo said.
The company says where the cameras have been deployed they have proved to be real deterrents and the more cameras that are deployed the greater the deterrent and the safer our children will be.