JAMESTOWN, NY – November 22, 2023 – Every day in New York State, an estimated 50,000 cars illegally pass stopped school buses putting children at risk. This winter, Jamestown will tackle dangerous driving around its school buses with the launch of a new safety initiative in partnership with local law enforcement and BusPatrol.
Earlier this month, the National Association of State Director of Pupil Transportation (NASDPTS) announced the rate of school bus illegal passing is at an “epidemic level” with the results of its annual survey on school bus illegal passing. The survey results suggest that school buses are illegally passed more than 41.8 million times per year in the United States.
As part of the initiative, entire school bus fleets across the county will have access to advanced safety technology at zero cost through a violator-funded program. This includes AI-powered stop-arm cameras to detect the license plates of vehicles that fail to stop for school buses, putting children at risk. The video evidence is shared with local law enforcement for review before a citation is issued.
Jamestown Public Schools will be the first to implement the program across, and will go into effect following a 30-day warning period.
“All cameras, installation, maintenance and program management are provided at no cost to city residents through our partnership with BusPatrol,” said Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “The program will be entirely and exclusively funded by violator revenue over a five-year term.”
In addition to automated enforcement technology, Jamestown Public Schools will also have access to additional safety features such as GPS tracking and emergency response solutions.
Kate Spree, a spokesperson for BusPatrol, said: “Every back-to-school season, we see the same headlines about cars blowing past stopped school buses and ignoring safety laws. The Jamestown School Bus Safety Program will make roads safer for children by reminding motorists to slow down and respect the big yellow bus.”
It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus in New York State. According to the New York DMV, traffic approaching from either direction must stop for a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. The fine for a first-time violation is $250.