Hagerstown, MD — Starting today, motorists who travel some of Washington County’s roads should be extra careful not to pass a stopped school bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, or they could receive a violation notice as part of the school system’s efforts to use technology to make the streets safer for school children. In 2012, Maryland passed legislation to permit counties to equip school buses with video cameras to catch drivers who illegally drive by school buses when they stop to pick up or drop off students.
Washington County and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to deploy CrossingGuard®, ATS’ new technology to help school districts address the growing problem of illegal passing of school buses that are stopped and boarding or disembarking children.
“Safety is our number one priority,” states Barbara J. Scotto, Supervisor of Transportation for Washington County Public Schools. “Washington County Public Schools is implementing this program because we want to make the public more aware of the school bus stop arm laws and ultimately, see our violations reduced to zero.”
The CrossingGuard® school bus stop arm safety solution mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the school bus, in either direction, and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle‘s license plate.
The violation video and license plate images are then reviewed by law enforcement for approval prior to a citation being issued. In Washington County, the penalty for a first stop-arm violation will warrant the vehicle’s owner a $125 fine. This is a civil penalty, no points will be assessed.
“We are excited about this collaboration between the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County and the Washington County Schools and American Traffic Solutions,” said Sheriff Mullendore. “This is an imperative safety need and we are proud to have this additional tool to help protect our children.”
Click here or visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnCgQK8blcI for more information about the Washington County school bus stop arm program.
About American Traffic Solutions:
ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,200 installed school bus stop arm, red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS is the largest road safety camera program service provider in North America with awards or contracts with nearly 300 local jurisdictions in 21 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit: atsol.com or www.atscrossingguard.com.